Biology of somatotropin in growth and lactation of domestic animals

Terry D. Etherton, Dale E. Bauman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

312 Scopus citations


Impressive progress has been made during the past 15 years in our understanding of the biology of somatotropin (ST) in domestic animals. In part, this progress was sparked by advances in biotechnology that made feasible the production of large quantities of recombinant bovine ST (bST) and porcine ST (pST). The availability of recombinant bST and pST resulted in an exponential increase in investigations that explored their role in growth and lactation biology, as well as evaluated their potential for commercial use. Collectively, these studies established that administration of bST to lactating dairy cows increased milk yield, and treatment of growing pigs with pST markedly stimulated muscle growth and reduced fat deposition. In addition to these 'efficacy' studies, a substantial number of investigations examined the mechanisms by which ST affects lactation and growth of domestic animals. This review summarizes the diverse physiological effects ST has on growth and lactation and discusses the underlying mechanisms that mediate these effects in domestic animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-761
Number of pages17
JournalPhysiological Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology (medical)


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