Genetic effects on acute phase protein response to the stresses of weaning and transportation in beef calves.J Anim Sci. 2007 Oct; 85(10):2367-74.JA
The objective herein was to estimate heterosis and breed effects in purebred and crossbred Romosinuano, Brahman, and Angus calves on acute phase protein response to weaning and transportation. Calves (n = 1,032) were weaned in September of 2002, 2003, and 2004 at approximately 7 mo of age. Approximately 28 d after weaning, steer calves (n = 482) were transported 1,800 km (20 h) to Oklahoma. Concentrations of 3 acute phase proteins (ceruloplasmin, fibrinogen, and haptoglobin) were measured in blood samples. Calves (steers and heifers) were sampled at weaning, and 24 and 72 h postweaning. For separate analyses, steers sent to Oklahoma were sampled before shipment, upon arrival, and 24 and 72 h after arrival. Combinations of the following fixed effects were investigated: sire breed, dam breed, sampling time, birth location, calf sex (weaning only), year, cow age, and interactions. Effects of special interest were sire breed x dam breed as an indication of breed group of calf, and the interaction of sire and dam breeds with sampling time. Weaning age and BW were investigated as linear and quadratic covariates. Sire of calf within sire breed was a random term. The correlation structure of repeated measures was determined by comparison of information criterion values for different structures within each analysis. In general, plasma acute phase protein concentrations in weaned calves increased with sampling time. Concentrations in the transported steers increased through sampling at 24 h after arrival, and were lower at 72 h. Significant estimates of heterosis were detected for Brahman-Angus haptoglobin concentrations at weaning (0.38 +/- 0.14 mg/dL x 100; 44%), and for Romosinuano-Angus fibrinogen concentrations at weaning (11.4 +/- 5.5 mg/dL; 10%) and in transported steers (22.5 +/- 8.4 mg/dL; 20%). The direct effect of Romosinuano was to increase (P <0.004) ceruloplasmin concentrations of weaned calves (4.1 +/- 0.9 mg/dL) and of transported steers (3.9 +/- 1.3 mg/dL). The direct effect of Angus was to lower ceruloplasmin concentrations in weaned calves (-3.9 +/- 1.2; P = 0.001). Significant maternal effects were detected at weaning for ceruloplasmin concentrations in Romosinuano (-1.4 +/- 0.5 mg/ dL) and Angus (1.6 +/- 0.7 mg/dL) and fibrinogen concentrations in Brahman calves (-17.7 +/- 8.8 mg/dL). These data imply that acute phase protein concentrations in response to weaning and transportation are impacted by cattle breed.