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South African Journal of Animal Science

Print version ISSN 0375-1589

Abstract

O'NEILL, H.A.; WEBB, E.C.; FRYLINCK, L.  and  STRYDOM, P.. The conversion of dopamine to epinephrine and nor-epinephrine is breed dependent. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2010, vol.40, n.5, pp. 502-504. ISSN 0375-1589.

In previous reports, Nguni type cattle have shown to have a lower glycolytic potential with less glycogen measured in muscles 1 h post-mortem. With the release of catecholamines in the immediate pre-slaughter period, there is potential for depletion of muscle glycogen, because of the fact that epinephrine activates muscle adenylate cyclase and thereby stimulates glycogen breakdown. Epinephrine and nor-epinephrine are secreted as a result of any "fight or flight" situation. Tyrosine is a conditionally non-essential large neutral amino acid and the precursor of the neurotransmitters dopamine, nor-epinephrine and epinephrine. Ante-mortem stress experienced by an animal may be influenced by amino acids that provide substrates for neurotransmitter synthesis. The Nguni type cattle showed 55.8% and 55.1% greater urinary nor-epinephrine values than for the Brahman- and Simmental type cattle respectively. The Nguni type cattle showed 35.6% and 43.8% greater urinary epinephrine values than the Brahman- and Simmental type cattle respectively. The higher urinary nor-epinephrine and epinephrine levels measured in Nguni type cattle could either be explained by a greater neuronal out flux immediately prior to slaughter or a slower re-uptake.

Keywords : Meat tenderness; urinary catecholamines; beef breeds; dopamine.

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