José A Camassa, Cami
In recent years, sheep have been used extensively in animal and veterinary sciences research and also as a large animal model for pre-clinical and translational research due to similarities with humans. The objectives of this study were the characterization and evaluation of the serum concentration of total protein and their fractions, as determined by free-solution capillary electrophoresis in ewes of different ages and physiological states. For that purpose, 80 ewes were divided according to age or physiological state in eight groups. Blood samples were drawn during the same season and in the same flock, and serum protein electrophoresis was performed by an automated system. There were significant differences between the reference range of different ages, for total protein, albumin, alpha 1 and alpha 2, and gamma globulins. Physiological states showed significant differences between dry and lactation groups for total protein and beta globulin values. Total protein and protein fractions gradually increased across the lifespan, and decreased after 8 years of age. The knowledge obtained via this study help validate the influence of age and physiological states on serum protein variability, which could be used for diagnostic and research purposes.