Milk performance and glucose metabolism in dairy cows fed rumen-protected fat during mid lactation.J Dairy Sci. 2010 Dec; 93(12):5867-76.JD
Feeding rumen-protected fat (RPF) can improve energy supply for dairy cows but it affects glucose metabolism. Glucose availability is a precondition for high milk production in dairy cows. Therefore, this study investigated endocrine regulation of glucose homeostasis and hepatic gene expression related to glucose production because of RPF feeding in lactating cows. Eighteen Holstein dairy cows during second lactation were fed either a diet containing RPF (mainly C16:0 and C18:1; FD; n = 9) or a control diet based on corn starch (SD; n = 9) for 4 wk starting at 98 d in milk (DIM). Feed intake and milk yield were measured daily and milk composition once a week. Blood samples were taken weekly for analyses of plasma triglyceride, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), β-hydroxybutyrate, bilirubin, urea, lactate, glucose, insulin, and glucagon. At 124 DIM, an intravenous glucose tolerance test (GTT; 1g/kg of BW(0.75)) was performed after a 12-h period without food. Blood samples were taken before and 7, 14, 21, and 28 min after glucose administration, and plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, and glucagon were measured. Glucose half-life as well as areas under the concentration curve for glucose, insulin, and glucagon were calculated. After slaughter at d 28 of treatment, liver samples were taken to measure mRNA abundance of pyruvate carboxylase, cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, glucose 6-phosphatase (G6Pase), and facilitative glucose transporter 2. Dry matter intake, but not energy and protein intake, was lower in FD than in SD. Milk yield during lactation decreased more in SD than in FD, and milk protein was lower in FD than in SD. Plasma concentrations of triglycerides and NEFA were higher in FD than in SD. Plasma insulin concentrations were lower and the glucagon:insulin ratios were higher in FD than in SD. Fasting glucose concentration before GTT was lower, and fasting glucagon concentrations tended to be higher in FD than in SD. In liver, fat content tended to be higher and G6Pase mRNA abundance was lower in FD than in SD. Lower hepatic G6Pase mRNA abundance was associated with reduced fasting plasma glucose concentrations, but the glucose-induced insulin response was not affected by RPF feeding. Hepatic G6Pase gene expression might be affected by DMI and might be involved in the regulation of glucose homeostasis in dairy cows, resulting in a lower hepatic glucose output after RPF feeding.