Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Lemley, Caleb O.

Committee Member

Karisch, Brandi B.

Committee Member

Larson, Jamie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences


Nutrient restriction is a relatively common production insult to pregnancy in cattle. Recently, melatonin supplementation has been investigated as a possible therapeutic to rescue the negative effects of nutrient restriction. Neurotransmitters have been implicated as having negative programming effects in mouse and human pregnancies, manifested as metabolic and neurologic disorders. The role of neurotransmitters in fetal development has only begun to be understood in mice and humans. Neurotransmitters have not been analyzed in cattle, much less within the context of a compromised pregnancy. Brangus heifers were allotted to one of four treatments (ADQ-CON, RES-CON, ADQ-MEL, RES-MEL) in either Fall 2019 or Summer 2020. Cesarian sections, at day 240 of gestation, allowed for fetal and placental tissues to be collected for neurotransmitter and gene expression analysis. Alterations to neurotransmitter pathways were observed in a seasonally dependent manner. Future investigation is needed into the implications of altered neurotransmitters on post-natal life.