Chronic Effects of Fusarium Mycotoxins in Rations with or without Increased Concentrate Proportion on the Insulin Sensitivity in Lactating Dairy Cows
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of long-term exposure to a Fusarium toxin deoxynivalenol (DON, 5 mg/kg DM) on the energy metabolism in lactating cows fed diets with different amounts of concentrate. In Period 1 27 German Holstein cows were assigned to two groups and fed a control or mycotoxin-contaminated diet with 50% concentrate for 11 weeks. In Period 2 each group was further divided and fed either a diet containing 30% or 60% concentrate for 16 weeks. Blood samples were collected in week 0, 4, 8, 15, 21, and 27 for calculation of the Revised Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index and biopsy samples of skeletal muscle and the liver in w 0, 15, and 27 for analysis by real-time RT-qPCR. The DON-fed groups presented lower insulin sensitivities than controls at week 27. Concomitantly, muscular mRNA expression of insulin receptors and hepatic mRNA expression of glucose transporter 2 and key enzymes for gluconeogenesis and fatty acid metabolism were lower in DON-fed cows compared to the control. The study revealed no consistent evidence that DON effects were modified by dietary concentrate levels. In conclusion, long-term dietary DON intake appears to have mild effects on energy metabolism in lactating dairy cows.