Journal of dairy science

The effect of grape seed and grape marc meal extract on milk performance and the expression of genes of endoplasmic reticulum stress and inflammation in the liver of dairy cows in early lactation.

PMID 26409958


During the periparturient phase, cows are typically in an inflammation-like condition, and it has been suggested that inflammation associated with the development of stress of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in the liver contributes to the development of fatty liver syndrome and ketosis. In the present study, we investigated the hypothesis that feeding grape seed and grape marc meal extract (GSGME) as a plant extract rich in flavonoids attenuates inflammation and ER stress in the liver of dairy cows. Two groups of cows received either a total mixed ration as a control diet or the same total mixed ration supplemented with 1% of GSGME over the period from wk 3 prepartum to wk 9 postpartum. Dry matter intake during wk 3 to 9 postpartum was not different between the 2 groups. However, the cows fed the diet supplemented with GSGME had an increased milk yield and an increased daily milk protein yield. Cows supplemented with GSGME moreover had a significantly reduced mRNA abundancy of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 21, a stress hormone induced by various stress conditions, in the liver in wk 1 and 3 postpartum. In contrast, mRNA abundances of a total of 3 genes involved in inflammation and 14 genes involved in ER stress response, as well as concentrations of triacylglycerols and cholesterol, in liver samples of wk 1 and 3 postpartum did not differ between the 2 groups. Overall, this study shows that supplementation of GSGME did not influence inflammation or ER stress in the liver but increased milk yield, an effect that could be due to effects on ruminal metabolism.