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Effect of calving on plasma amino acid concentration in dairy cows.

M. E. Fetter



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Effect of calving on plasma amino acid concentration in dairy cows.
M. E. Fetter*, D. M. Cunningham, F. Gambonini, T. L. Ott, A. N. Hristov. Department of Animal Science. The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA.

Metabolic changes during the transition period in dairy cattle can cause decreased milk production and reproductive performance. Therefore, a better understanding of changes in plasma amino acid (AA) concentrations during the transition period will help optimize nutrition to improve welfare and production in dairy cows. The aim of this study was to assess changes in plasma amino acid (AA) profile after calving in Holstein cows. Blood samples for AA analysis were collected from the tail vein/artery of 9 multi- and 8 primiparous cows 3 wk (�7 d) before and at wk 1, 2, and 3 post-calving. Data were analyzed using the GLM procedure of SAS with sampling week, parity and parity � week interaction in the model. Concentration of the sum of essential AA (EAA) was similar between primi- and multiparous cows before calving but was on average 17.0% lower (P = 0.009) in multi- vs. primiparous cows postpartum. EAA concentration declined (P < 0.001) by 20.0% postpartum. The sum of non-essential AA (NEAA) increased linearly (P < 0.001) post-calving and was comparable between primi- and multiparous cows. Primiparous cows had 13.5%, 14.8% and 13.7% greater Leu (P = 0.002), Val (P = 0.002), and Ile (P < 0.001) concentrations, respectively, than multiparous cows. In addition, Val and Ile decreased 20.0% (P = 0.003) and 22.6% (P < 0.001) postpartum, respectively. Primiparous cows had 7.6% greater (P = 0.04) plasma His concentration than multiparous cows. Compared with prepartum, His decreased 13.1% (P = 0.005) postpartum in both primi- and multiparous cows. Met and Lys concentrations were not affected by parity (P ≥ 0.31) but both AA decreased (22.0 and 24.5%, respectively; P < 0.001) after calving. Arg and Thr decreased (P ≤ 0.002) 26.7% and 22.4% after calving but were not affected by parity. Overall, plasma concentration of EAA decreased after calving, indicating an increased demand for EAA around parturition. Lower postpartum plasma concentration of EAA in multiparous cows likely reflects an increased need for EAA to sustain greater milk production compared with primiparous cows.

Keywords: amino acid, calving, dairy cattle.