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Journal of dairy science

Insulin response of the glucose and fatty acid metabolism in dry dairy cows across a range of body condition scores.


PMID 25958289

Abstract

The objective of the present research was to determine the insulin response of the glucose and fatty acid metabolism in dry dairy cows with a variable body condition score (BCS). Ten pregnant Holstein Friesian dairy cows (upcoming parity 2 to 5) were selected based on BCS at the beginning of the study (2mo before expected parturition date). During the study, animals were monitored weekly for BCS and backfat thickness and in the last 2wk, blood samples were taken for determination of serum nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentration. Animals underwent a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp test in the third week before the expected parturition date. The hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp test consisted of 4 consecutive insulin infusions with increasing insulin doses: 0.1, 0.5, 2, and 5mIU/kg per minute. For each insulin infusion period, a steady state was defined as a period of 30min where no or minor changes of the glucose infusion were necessary to keep the blood glucose concentration constant and near basal levels. During the steady state, the glucose infusion rate [steady state glucose infusion rate (SSGIR) in µmol/kg per minute] and NEFA concentration [steady state NEFA concentration (SSNEFA) in mmol/L] were determined and reflect the insulin response of the glucose and fatty acid metabolism. Dose response curves were created based on the insulin concentrations during the steady state and the SSGIR or SSNEFA. The shape of the dose response curves is determined by the concentration of insulin needed to elicit the half maximal effect (EC50) and the maximal SSGIR or the minimal SSNEFA for the glucose or fatty acid metabolism, respectively. The maximal SSGIR was negatively associated with variables reflecting adiposity of the cows (BCS, backfat thickness, NEFA concentration during the dry period, and absolute weight of the different adipose depots determined after euthanasia and dissection of the different depots), whereas the EC50 of the glucose metabolism was positively associated with these variables. These results reflect a decreased insulin sensitivity and a decreased insulin responsiveness of the glucose metabolism in overconditioned dry dairy cows. The minimal SSNEFA and the EC50 of the fatty acid metabolism were not associated with variables reflecting adiposity of the cows, meaning that the insulin response of the fatty acid metabolism was not associated with the level of fat accumulation in dry dairy cows. Additionally, within individual cows, the EC50 of the glucose metabolism was higher than the EC50 of the fatty acid metabolism, meaning that the response of the fatty acid metabolism occurs at lower insulin concentrations compared with the response of the glucose metabolism. It can be concluded that a negative association exists between the level of fat accumulation in pregnant dairy cows at the end of the dry period and the insulin response of the glucose metabolism.