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Effects of mimosine on fiber shedding, follicle activity, and fiber regrowth in Spanish goats

J. Luo, A. J. Litherland, T. Sahlu, R. Puchala, M. Lachica, and A. L. Goetsch

Journal of Animal Science. 78:1551-1555. 2000.

Mimosine is a pyridoxal antagonist, which inhibits DNA replication and protein synthesis; thus, it may act mainly by arresting cell division in the follicle bulb. A study on annual patterns of follicle activity in Australian cashmere goats indicated that primary follicles were largely inactive during the winter (short daylength); secondary follicles became inactive about 1 mo later and remained so for only a short period of time. This difference between follicle types may provide an opportunity to chemically defleece or remove cashmere fiber with minimal guard hair contamination. In addition, typically, cashmere goats are shorn when the mean temperature is around 10 C in the early spring. Because shorn goats are susceptible to cold stress for up to 3 mo, retention of guard hair would be very useful in cold weather. Therefore, objectives of this experiment were to evaluate the effects of mimosine infusion on fiber shedding, follicle activity, and fiber regrowth in Spanish goats. Ten 2-yr-old Spanish wethers (58.2 ± 7.21 kg BW) were used to determine effects of 2-d intravenous infusion of mimosine (beginning on January 8) on fiber shedding, follicle activity, and fiber regrowth. At 7 to 10 d after the start of infusion, all five goats infused with mimosine exhibited shedding, whereas shedding by controls was not observed. In conclusion, 2-d intravenous infusion of mimosine at 120 mg/(kg BW · d) in the winter induced cashmere shedding but had less effect on guard hairs, suggesting future potential use of chemicals such as mimosine to remove cashmere fiber.


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