Effects of peripartum propylene glycol supplementation on nitrogen metabolism, body composition and gene expression for the major proteolytic systems in skeletal muscle in transition dairy cows
Chibisa, Gwinyai Emmanuel
Early-lactating dairy cows mobilize body protein, primarily from skeletal muscle, to provide amino acids which are directed towards gluconeogenesis and milk protein synthesis. Propylene glycol (PG) is a precursor of ruminal propionate, and our hypothesis was that its dietary inclusion could attenuate skeletal muscle wasting by reducing amino acid-driven gluconeogenesis. The major objectives of this study were to delineate the effects of pre- and post-partum PG supplementation in transition dairy cows on whole-body nitrogen (N) balance, urinary 3-methylhistidine (3-MH) excretion, body composition, and gene expression profiles for the major protein degradation pathways in skeletal muscle. Sixteen pregnant cows (7 primiparous and 9 multiparous) were paired based on expected calving dates and then randomly assigned within each pair to either a basal diet (control) or basal diet plus 600 mL/d of PG (PG). Diets were fed twice daily for ad libitum intake, and PG was fed in equal amounts as a top dress. All measurements were conducted at 3 time intervals starting at d -14 ± 5, d 15 and d 38 relative to calving. Propylene glycol had no effect (P > 0.05) on whole-body N balance, urinary 3-MH excretion, and body composition. However, N balance was lower (P < 0.001) at d 15 and d 38, compared to d -14. Urinary excretion of 3-MH was lower at d -14 than at d 15 (P = 0.01) and d 38 (P = 0.001). Supplemental PG had no effect (P > 0.05) on body weight (BW), and all components of empty BW. On average, cows fed both diets mobilized 19 kg of body fat and 14 kg of body protein between d -14 and d 38. Supplemental PG had no effect on mRNA abundance in skeletal muscle for m-calpain (P = 0.96) and 14-kDa ubiquitin-carrier protein E2 (14-kDa E2) (P = 0.54); however, PG supplementation down-regulated mRNA expression for µ-calpain at d 15 (P = 0.02), and tended to down-regulate mRNA expression for ubiquitin at d 15 (P = 0.07) and proteasome 26S subunit-ATPase at d 38 (P = 0.097). Relative to calving, mRNA abundance for m-calpain (P = 0.02) and µ-calpain (P = 0.005) were higher at d 15 compared to d -14 and d 38. Messenger RNA abundance for ubiquitin (P = 0.07) and 14-kDa E2 (P = 0.005) were lower at d 38 compared to d 15. In summary, these results demonstrate that up-regulation of the Ca2+-dependent and ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic pathways are the mechanisms by which skeletal muscle wasting occurs in early-lactating cows. In addition, dietary supplementation with PG may down-regulate some of these proteolytic pathways, thereby potentially attenuating undesirable skeletal muscle wasting.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentAnimal and Poultry Science
ProgramAnimal and Poultry Science
CommitteeVan Kessel, Andrew G.; Christensen, David A.; Buchanan, Fiona C.; Zello, Gordon A.
transition dairy cows
propylene glycol supplementation