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Source of cobalt fed during late pregnancy to Holstein cows affects postnatal calf growth and innate immune function.

A. S. Alharthi




Source of cobalt fed during late pregnancy to Holstein cows affects postnatal calf growth and innate immune function.
A. S. Alharthi*1,2, E. Abdel-Hamied3, H. Dai4, Y. Liang1, V. Lopreiato5, A. A. Elolimy1,6, M. T. Socha7, J. J. Loor1. 1Department of Animal Sciences and Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana, IL, 2Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 3Animal medicine department, Beni-Suef University Beni-Suef, Egypt, 4College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University Nanjing, PR China, 5Department of Animal Sciences, Food and Nutrition Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science, Universit� Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Piacenza, Italy, 6Department of Animal Production, National Research Centre Dokki, Giza, Egypt, 7Zinpro Corporation Eden Prairie, MN.

Maternal nutrition has a key role on fetal growth can program the long-term physiology of the offspring. We investigated effects of feeding 72 multiparous Holstein cows during late-pregnancy with an experimental source of Folic acid (FOA; Zinpro Corp.), 2 Co sources [Co glucoheptonate (Copro) or Co pectin (CoPectin), Zinpro Corp.] and rumen-protected Met (RPM) on calf developmental parameters at birth and through 9-wk of age. Cows were fed a basal diet [1.37 Mcal/kg of dry matter (DM), 14.5% crude protein] and randomly assigned (17—21 per treatment) to Copro, FOA+Copro, FOA+CoPectin, or FOA+CoPectin+RPM. In each FOA group cows received 50 g FOA. Co treatments delivered 1 ppm Co/kg DM. The RPM was fed at 0.09% of DMI to achieve a ratio of 2.8:1 Lys:Met in the MP. Calves received 3.8 L of first-milking colostrum from their dam within 6 h, and were housed in individual outdoor hutches bedded with straw, fed twice daily with a milk replacer, and had ad libitum access to a starter grain mix from birth to weaning at 42 d of age. Body weight, hip and wither height, hip width and body length were measured at birth and weekly through weaning (42 d of age) and until 9 wk of age. The statistical model in SAS 9.4 included treatment, age and their interactions as fixed effects. Preplanned contrasts were FOA vs. no FOA, CoPectin vs. Copro, and RPM vs. no RPM. Metabolite concentrations in plasma indicated no differences over time due to maternal diet in energy metabolism, liver function, or oxidant status. However, blood neutrophil phagocytosis capacity was greater (P = 0.03) in calves born to cows supplemented CoPectin. Although maternal diet did not alter developmental parameters at birth, during the first 9 wk of age calves born to cows supplemented CoPectin had greater (P < 0.05) starter intake and weekly average daily gain. Overall, data indicated that CoPectin supplementation during late-gestation had a positive effect on neonatal calf performance. Whether effects arose from greater availability in utero of vitamin B12 synthesized from Co by rumen microbes remains to be determined.

Keywords: fetal programming, vitamin B12, epigenetics.