Branched-chain amino acids: Abundance of their transporters and metabolizing enzymes in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver of dairy cows at high or normal body condition
Webb, L.A.; Sadri, H.; Schuh, K.; Egert, S.; Stehle, P.; Meyer, I.; Koch, C.; Dusel, G.; Sauerwein, H.
Journal of Dairy Science 103(3): 2847-2863
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are major components of milk protein and important precursors for nonessential AA. Thus, the BCAA transport and break-down play a key role in the metabolic adaptation to the high nutrient demands in lactation. However, in monogastrics, increased BCAA levels have been linked with obesity and certain metabolic disorders such as impaired insulin sensitivity. Our objective was to study the effect of over-conditioning at calving on plasma BCAA levels as well as the tissue abundance of the most relevant BCAA transporters and degrading enzymes in dairy cows during late pregnancy and early lactation. Thirty-eight Holstein cows were allocated 15 wk antepartum to either a normal- (NBCS) or over-conditioned (HBCS) group, receiving 6.8 or 7.2 MJ of NEL/kg of DM, respectively, during late lactation to reach the targeted differences in body condition score (BCS) and back fat thickness (BFT; NBCS: BCS <3.5, BFT <1.2 cm; HBCS: BCS >3.75, BFT >1.4 cm) until dry-off. During the dry period and next lactation, cows were fed the same diets, whereby differences in BCS and BFT were maintained: prepartum means were 3.16 ± 0.06 and 1.03 ± 0.07 cm (NBCS) vs. 3.77 ± 0.08 and 1.89 ± 0.11 cm (HBCS), postpartum means were 2.89 ± 0.06 and 0.81 ± 0.05 cm (NBCS) vs. 3.30 ± 0.06 and 1.38 ± 0.08 cm (HBCS). Blood and biopsies from liver, semitendinosus muscle, and subcutaneous adipose tissue (scAT) were sampled at d 49 antepartum, 3, 21, and 84 postpartum. Free BCAA were analyzed and the mRNA abundance of solute carrier family 1 member 5 (SLC1A5), SLC7A5, and SLC38A2 as well as branched-chain aminotransferase 2 (BCAT2), branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase E1α (BCKDHA), and branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase E1β (BCKDHB) as well as the protein abundance of BCKDHA were assessed. Concentrations of all BCAA changed with time, most markedly in HBCS cows, with a nadir around calving. Apart from Ile, neither individual nor total BCAA differed between groups. The HBCS group had greater BCKDHA mRNA as well as higher prepartum BCKDHA protein abundance in scAT than NBCS cows, pointing to a greater oxidative capacity for the irreversible degradation of BCAA transamination products in scAT of over-conditioned cows. Prepartum hepatic BCKDHA protein abundance was lower in HBCS than in NBCS cows. In both groups, SLC1A5, SLC7A5, and BCAT2 mRNA were most abundant in scAT, whereas SLC38A2 was higher in scAT and muscle compared with liver, and BCKDHA and BCKDHB mRNA were greatest in liver and muscle, respectively. Our results indicate that scAT may be a major site of BCAA uptake and initial catabolism, with the former, however, being independent of BCS and time relative to calving in dairy cows.