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Far-off and close-up dry matter intake modulate indicators of immunometabolic adaptations to lactation in subcutaneous adipose tissue of pasture-based transition dairy cows

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 11:02 authored by Mario Vailati Riboni, G. Farina, F. Batistel, Axel HeiserAxel Heiser, Murray Mitchell, Mallory Crookenden, Caroline Walker, Jane Kay, Susanne Meier, John Roche, Juan Loor
The common practice of increasing dietary energy density during the close-up dry period (last ∼3 wk prepartum) has been recently associated with a higher incidence of metabolic disorders after calving. Despite these reports, over-feeding of metabolizable energy (ME) during the far-off, nonlactating period is a common management policy aimed at achieving optimum calving body condition score (BCS) in pasture-based systems, as cows are generally thinner than total mixed ration cows at the end of lactation. Our hypothesis was that both far-off and close-up overfeeding influence the peripartum adipose tissue changes associated with energy balance and inflammatory state. Sixty mid-lactation, grazing dairy cows of mixed age and breed were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 groups that were managed through late lactation to achieve a low and high BCS (approximately 4.25 and 5.0 on a 10-point scale) at dry-off. The low BCS cows were then overfed ME to ensure that they achieved the same BCS as the higher BCS group by calving. Within each rate of BCS gain treatment, cows were offered 65, 90, or 120% of their pre-calving ME requirements for 3 wk pre-calving in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments (i.e., 10 cows/treatment). Subcutaneous adipose tissue was collected via biopsy at −1, 1, and 4 wk relative to parturition. Quantitative PCR was used to measure mRNA and microRNA expression of targets related to adipogenesis and inflammation. Cows overfed in the far-off period had increased expression of miR-143 and miR-378 prepartum (−1 wk) indicating greater adipogenesis, consistent with their rapid gain in BCS following dry-off. Furthermore, the lower postpartum expression of IL6, TNF, TLR4, TLR9, and miR-145, and a higher abundance of miR-99a indicated lower body fat mobilization in early lactation in the same group. In the close-up period, feeding either 65 or 120% of ME requirements caused changes in FASN, IL1B, IL6R, TLR9, and the microRNA miR-143, miR-155, and miR-378. Their respective expression patterns indicate a tentative negative-feedback mechanism in metabolically compromised, feed-restricted cows, and a possible immune-related stimulation of lipolysis in apparently static adipocytes in overfed cows. Data from cows fed 90% of ME requirements indicate the existence of a balance between lipolytic (inflammatory-related) and anti-lipolytic signals, to prime the mobilization machinery in light of imminent lactation. Overall, results indicate that far-off dry cow nutrition influences peripartum adipose tissue metabolism, with neither strategy negatively affecting the physiological adaptation to lactation. Furthermore, to ensure a favorable transition, cows should be subjected to a small feed restriction in the close-up period, irrespective of far-off nutritional management.


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© American Dairy Science Association®, 2017.


  • English

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Journal title

Journal of Dairy Science




Vailati Riboni, M., Farina, G., Batistel, F., Heiser, A., Mitchell, M. D., Crookenden, M. A., Roche, J. R., & Loor, J. J. (2017). Far-off and close-up dry matter intake modulate indicators of immunometabolic adaptations to lactation in subcutaneous adipose tissue of pasture-based transition dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 100(3), 2334–2350. doi:10.3168/jds.2016-11790


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