Effects of conjugated linoleic acids fed to dairy cows during early gestation on hematological, immunological, and metabolic characteristics and their calves

Dänicke, Sven GND; Kowalczyk, J.; Renner, Lydia GND; Pappritz, Julia GND; Meyer, Ulrich GND; Kramer, R.; Weber, E.-M.; Kersten, Susanne GND; Rehage, J.; Jahreis, G.

The aim of the present experiment was to test the stimulation ability of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) expressed as stimulation index (SI) of newborn calves and of their dams fed a control fat supplement (CON, n = 6) or 50 and 100 g/d of a CLA-containing fat supplement (CLA50, n = 5, and CLA100, n = 6, respectively) during the preceding lactation period for 182 d after calving. The total intake of cis-9,trans-11 and trans-10,cis-12 CLA by groups CLA50 and CLA100 amounted to 4 and 8 g/d each, respectively. For this purpose, blood was collected immediately after parturition from calves before and after colostrum intake, and from cows after parturition and 21 d later. The SI was related to the fatty acid composition of erythrocyte and milk lipids and to various hematological and clinical-chemical parameters. Retrospective evaluation revealed that depletion time (i.e., the individual period elapsed between the day of terminating the feeding of the experimental diet in the preceding lactation period and the day of calving) ranged from 190 to 262 d, which corresponded to fetal exposure times of 19 to 102 d. The SI from cows increased significantly by 77 and 55%, within 21 d after calving according to the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and Alamar Blue assays, respectively. However, feeding of 50 g of the CLA product failed to demonstrate this increase in the MTT assay. Moreover, SI was significantly lower for calves whose dams belonged to the CLA50 group, whereas stimulation ability was comparable for the PBMC from calves whose mothers were treated with CON and CLA100. Plasma metabolites (total bilirubin, total cholesterol, glucose, nonesterified fatty acids, 3-ß-hydroxybutyrate, total protein, and albumin) and hematological parameters (hematocrit, white blood cell profile) were not significantly influenced by dietary treatments of the cows in the preceding lactation period. Although the fatty acid pattern of erythrocyte lipids of cows remained uninfluenced, that of calves showed alterations due to the feeding type of their dams. For example, C16:0 increased significantly from 14.4 to 16.9% of total fatty acid methyl esters, whereas cis-9,trans-11 CLA increased slightly from 0.11 to 0.15% at the same time in calves when their mothers were fed the CLA100 instead of the CON diet. Fatty acid profile of colostrum was significantly different from that of milk after 3 wk for most of the detected fatty acids, but was not influenced by diet type. In conclusion, feeding a CLA-containing fat supplement during the preceding lactation and gestation period exerted effects on the stimulation ability of PBMC from cows and calves for the subsequent parturition. However, CLA dose effects were inconsistent and require further investigation.

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Dänicke, Sven / Kowalczyk, J. / Renner, Lydia / et al: Effects of conjugated linoleic acids fed to dairy cows during early gestation on hematological, immunological, and metabolic characteristics and their calves. 2012.

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