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The endogenous occurrence of natural hormones obstructs the application of classical targeted methods as confirmatory options. In the case of estradiol, the ultimate confirmation of its exogenous administration relies on gas chromatography coupled to combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C/IRMS). A serum dipeptide composed of pyroglutamic acid and phenylalanine was identified as a potential biomarker of estradiol treatments in adult cows. To evaluate its potential to pinpoint suspicious samples, samples from prepubertal females under different estrogenic treatments have been analyzed. The results confirmed the up-regulation of the dipeptide in adult bovines. The 2-week-old females exhibited short-lasting responses only in a few animals. The 6-month-old female showed a delayed but clear increase on the biomarker level. The composition of the anabolic preparations, the dose, and/or the administration route are possible additional reasons for the reduced response in young animals. A comparison to previous results reported by various researchers is included.
- tandem mass-spectrometry
- timed artificial-insemination
- protein biomarkers
- hormone abuse