Assessment of negative energy balance, inflammation and acute phase response in transition dairy cows

Title: Assessment of negative energy balance, inflammation and acute phase response in transition dairy cows

Authors: SV Vasudhar Bhat, M Shynu, JP Anisha, KK Keerthy and PD Divya

Source: Ruminant Science (2019)-8(1):27-29

Cite this reference as: Bhat SV Vasudhar , Shynu M, Anisha JP, Keerthy KK and Divya PD (2019). Assessment of negative energy balance, inflammation and acute phase response in transition dairy cows. Ruminant Science 8(1):27-29.


The period from three weeks before parturition until three weeks after parturition is the transition period in dairy cows. This period is characterized by metabolic stress, rapid increase in milk secretion, a slower rise in feed intake and resultant negative energy balance. The animal adapts to this condition through mobilization of body fat which can be utilized as a source of energy by undergoing oxidation. In the present study, blood was drawn from thirty clinically healthy pregnant dairy cattle at fortnightly intervals from two months before parturition to two months after parturition.  Serum non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and haptoglobin levels were assessed in the samples. The mean concentration of serum non-esterified fatty acids was found to be 0.576±0.10 mmoles/L during transition whereas the concentration was found to be 0.328±0.03 mmoles/L outside the transition period.  The mean concentration of haptoglobin during transition was 5.60±0.54 mg/dL and 4.80±0.59 mg/dL during pre and post transition which is higher than the reported concentration of < 2mg/dL in healthy ruminants. Increased haptoglobin might indicate the transient inflammation and response to negative energy balance during transition in dairy cows. Transient inflammation was evident from the increase in expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 in cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells of dairy cows isolated within a day of parturition, when compared to cells isolated five weeks after parturition. 


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