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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Plane of nutrition prepartum alters hepatic gene expression and function in dairy cows as assessed by longitudinal transcript and metabolic profiling.

Liver metabolism and health in dairy cows during the periparturient period are affected by plane of nutrition prepartum. Long-term adaptations in hepatic gene expression are important for complete understanding of liver function. We examined temporal gene expression profiles during the dry period and early lactation in liver of Holstein cows fed moderate dietary energy ad libitum or restricted during the entire dry period using a microarray consisting of 7,872 annotated cattle cDNA inserts and quantitative RT-PCR. We identified 85 genes with expression patterns that were affected by level of energy intake prepartum over time. Restricted energy intake prepartum resulted in more pronounced upregulation of genes with key functions in hepatic fatty acid oxidation (CPT1A, ADIPOR2), gluconeogenesis (PC), and cholesterol synthesis (SC4MOL). Ad libitum feeding upregulated a number of genes associated with liver triacylglycerol synthesis (DGAT1) and proinflammatory cytokines (TNFAIP3). Genomic responses to ad libitum feeding were accompanied by increased incorporation of palmitate to esterified products in vitro and increased liver triacylglycerol concentration in vivo. Overall, gene expression profiles due to plane of nutrition prepartum partly explained differences in rates of liver palmitate metabolism, blood serum metabolite concentrations, and liver tissue triacylglycerol concentration. Our data show that moderate overfeeding of energy in the dry period, in the absence of obesity, results in transcriptional changes predisposing cows to fatty liver and perhaps compromising overall liver health during the periparturient period. In this context, controlled energy intake may confer an advantage to the cow by triggering hepatic molecular adaptations well ahead of parturition.[1]


  1. Plane of nutrition prepartum alters hepatic gene expression and function in dairy cows as assessed by longitudinal transcript and metabolic profiling. Loor, J.J., Dann, H.M., Guretzky, N.A., Everts, R.E., Oliveira, R., Green, C.A., Litherland, N.B., Rodriguez-Zas, S.L., Lewin, H.A., Drackley, J.K. Physiol. Genomics (2006) [Pubmed]
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