Bone development: the effect of short-term alpha-ketoglutarate administration on long-term mechanical properties of ribs in ram lambs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The objective of this study was to determine the long-term effect of alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) administration during early neonatal life on skeletal development and function, with emphasis on bone exposed to regular stress and used to serve for systemic changes monitoring, the rib. Shropshire ram lambs were randomly assigned to two weight-matched groups at birth. During the first 14 days of life AKG was administered orally to the experimental group (n=12) at the dosage of 0.1 g/kg body weight per day, while the control group (n=11) received an equal dose of the vehicle. Lambs were slaughtered at 146 days of life and five left and right ribs (fourth to eighth) were removed for analysis. The influence of AKG on skeletal system development was evaluated in relation to both geometrical and mechanical properties, as well as quantitative computed tomography (QCT). No significant differences between the groups were recorded int erms of: (1) growth rate, (2) body weight at days 14, 28 and 130 of age or (3) final body weight. The weight and length of ribs were, however, significantly increased in the lambs given AKG for the first 14 days of neonatal life by 8.2% and 3.2%, respectively (P<0.01). Furthermore, AKG administration induced significantly higher bone mineral density of the cortical bone by 7.1% (P<0.01) and improved the mechanical endurance of ribs in terms of the moments of maximum elastic strength and ultimate strength by 10% and 8%, respectively (P<0.05). It could be concluded that AKG has a long-term effect on skeletal development when given early in neonatal life, and that changes in rib properties serve to improve chest mechanics and functioning in young animals. Moreover, neonatal administration of AKG may be considered as an effective factor enhancing proper development and function of the skeleton during growth and later life.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • Former LIFE faculty - Alpha-ketoglutarate, Lambs, Skeletal development, Ribs, Mechanical endurance

ID: 8045213