Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract This study concerns the detection of natural steroid hormones in hair of cattle. Estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) were chosen as representatives of estrogens and androgens. In particular, the influence of age, sex and hair pigmentation on the steroid concentrations was investigated. Samples were obtained from numerous steers, cows, bulls, and female and male calves. The extraction procedure for E2 and T from hair comprised liquid-liquid and solid-phase extraction and was followed by an essential high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) step for further purification of the extracts. Final quantification was performed with specific enzyme immunoassays (EIA). Lower E2-concentrations were detected in the hair of some steers, cows, and bulls (approximately 1 ng/g), in several of these hair samples the concentrations of E2 were below the limit of detection. Testosterone was measured in the hair of steers (approximately 3 ng/g), cows (approximately 6 ng/g), and bulls (in average 15 ng/g). There was a significant difference in the testosterone concentrations of white (approximately 8 ng/g) and of black hair (approximately 33 ng/g) of bulls. In hair from all male and female calves, E2 and T were measured. The concentrations amounted approximately to 9 ng E2/g and 3 ng T/g for female calves and to 5 ng E2/g and 7 ng T/g for male calves. There was no significant influence of sex or hair colour on the steroid concentrations in hair of calves. The results suggest that the method is a powerful means to detect natural steroid hormones in hair of animal origin.
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