Urinary Catecholamine and Cortisol Responses of Japanese Shorthorn Cows to Social Isolation

  • Higashiyama, Yumi (National Agricultural Research Center for Tohoku Region) ;
  • Nashiki, M. (National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science) ;
  • Narita, H. (Sapporo)
  • Received : 2009.02.12
  • Accepted : 2009.06.18
  • Published : 2009.10.01


This study was performed to investigate the use of urinary catecholamines to monitor changes in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and to determine the relationship of urinary cortisol and catecholamines in Japanese Shorthorn cows in response to social isolation. One cow was isolated from its group, which consisted of 14 cows (457 to 756 kg BW, 2 to 12 years old), for three days. The isolated cow was in contact with the other cows visually only at meal times. This isolation was repeated for 6 cows. Spontaneously voided urine samples were collected from the experimental animals once a day, before the treatment and on days 1, 2, and 3. Urinary cortisol and adrenaline levels were significantly increased compared with pre-isolation levels on the first day, and then declined to the basal levels during the next two days. Urinary noradrenaline levels changed in the same way as cortisol and adrenaline levels, but the difference was not significant. Urinary cortisol levels tended to be correlated with those of urinary adrenaline, but not noradrenaline. This study suggests that the urinary adrenaline levels can be a non-invasive indicator of stress and that the change of urinary adrenaline is similar to that of urinary cortisol.


Supported by : Pasture and Grazing Management Section


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