Effects of peripartum propylene glycol supplementation on nitrogen metabolism, body composition, and gene expression for the major protein degradation pathways in skeletal muscle in dairy cows
Chibisa, G.E.; Gozho, G.N.; Van Kessel, A.G.; Olkowski, A.A.; Mutsvangwa, T.
Journal of Dairy Science 91(9): 3512-3527
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0302 PMID: 18765610 DOI: 10.3168/jds.2007-0920
Early-lactating dairy cows mobilize body protein to provide amino acids that are directed toward gluconeogenesis and milk protein synthesis. Propylene glycol (PG) is a precursor of ruminal propionate, and feeding PG has been reported to improve energy supply by increasing blood glucose. Our hypothesis was that feeding PG could spare body protein by providing an alternative source of carbon for gluconeogenesis. The major objectives of this study were 1) to delineate the effects of pre- and postpartum PG supplementation in transition dairy cows on whole-body nitrogen balance, urinary 3-methylhistidine (3-MH) excretion, body composition, and gene expression profiles for the major protein degradation pathways in skeletal muscle; and 2) to characterize the changes in body protein metabolism during the periparturient period. Sixteen pregnant cows (7 primiparous and 9 multiparous) were paired based on expected calving dates and then randomly assigned within each pair to either a basal diet (control) or basal diet plus 600 mL/d of PG. Diets were fed twice daily for ad libitum intake, and PG was fed in equal amounts as a top dress from d -7 to d 45. All measurements were conducted at 3 time intervals starting at d -14 +/- 5, d 15, and d 38 relative to calving. Propylene glycol had no effect on whole-body N balance, urinary 3-MH excretion, or body composition. However, N balance was lower at d 15 and 38, compared with d -14. Urinary excretion of 3-MH was lower at d -14 than at d 15 and 38. Supplemental PG had no effect on body weight (BW) and all components of empty BW. On average, cows fed both diets mobilized 19 kg of body fat and 14 kg of body protein between d -14 and d 38. Supplemental PG had no effect on mRNA abundance in skeletal muscle for m-calpain, and the 14-kDa ubiquitin-carrier protein E2 (14-kDa E2) and proteasome 26S subunit-ATPase components of the ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic pathway; however, PG supplementation downregulated mRNA expression for mu-calpain at d 15, and tended to downregulate mRNA expression for ubiquitin at d 15 and 38. Relative to calving, mRNA abundance for m- and mu-calpain, ubiquitin, and 14-kDa E2 were greater at d 15 compared with d -14 and d 38. In summary, these results indicate that transitional effects on whole-body metabolism and gene expression for the Ca(2+)-dependent and ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic pathways in skeletal muscle were more pronounced than those elicited by PG supplementation.