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International Journal of Biological Chemistry
Year: 2015  |  Volume: 9  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 30 - 37

In vitro Metabolic Changes of Glucocorticoids Added to the Faeces of Ruminants

S.M. El-Bahr and I.F. Albokhadaim    

Abstract: The present study aimed to investigate the extent of stability of glucocorticoids against the bacterial actions and their enzymatic activities that are naturally occurring in faeces. Faecal samples were freshly collected from each of 10 cattle and 10 sheep. Each sample was immediately incubated in a water bath at 38°C with either 1 μg of cortisol or corticosterone. The incubations were then run at time intervals of 4, 8 and 24 h (in cattle) and at 1, 2, 4, 8 and 24 h (in sheep). The samples were extracted with methanol and the aliquots were taken after centrifugation from their supernatants and analyzed for measurement of cortisol and corticosterone by enzyme immunoassays (EIAs). A dramatical decline in the concentrations of the added cortisol and corticosterone was observed in cattle faeces. Only about 20% of the starting levels of both hormones after 4 h in contrast to almost no cortisol with about 10% of corticosterone after 8 h and about 5% of corticosterone after 24 h was detected. Prolonged incubation of faecal samples of sheep decreased the immunoreactive substances measured by the 3α-hydroxy,11-oxoandrogens EIA (11-oxo-A- EIA), whereas with the 11,17 dioxoandrotanes EIA (11,17 DOA-EIA), the values were increased. Cortisol was heavily metabolized by faecal flora being quicker in its metabolism than corticosterone in the faeces of ruminants. In addition, the present study provides a powerful evidence for the absence of native cortisol in the faeces of ruminants.

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