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Cortisol levels in skimmed milk during the first 22 weeks of lactation and response to short-term metabolic stress and lameness in dairy cows.

Gellrich K, Sigl T, Meyer HH, Wiedemann S - J Anim Sci Biotechnol (2015)

Bottom Line: On the last day of FR in early lactation, a reduction in milk yield and changes in serum metabolites compared to respective previous values were detected.The FR in mid-lactation resulted in no changes in milk production and serum metabolites.Higher values of milk cortisol levels during first wk of lactation should be taken into account for interpretation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Physiology Weihenstephan, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, 85354 Freising, Germany.

ABSTRACT

Background: Cortisol is secreted into blood in reaction to acute stress, but also in phases of diminished feed intake and changed animal behavior. As cows do not always show clear signs of discomfort, reliable diagnostic markers could be used to provide information regarding individual cows' distress. The objective of this study was to establish an ether free immunoassay for the detection of cortisol and to determine values during the first 22 weeks of lactation. Furthermore, the response in milk cortisol levels was assessed during times of metabolic stress and pain associated symptoms of lameness.

Methods: Milk yield and composition, blood serum glucose, NEFA and BHBA as well as milk cortisol were determined in 24 multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows over the course of the first 22 weeks of lactation. Animals were further checked for signs of clinical diseases on a daily basis. Two feed restrictions over three days (FR; 70 % of precious ad libitum intake) were performed during the 4(th) wk and the 21(st) wk, respectively. An ELISA for cortisol measurement in easily accessible bovine skimmed milk was established and applied.

Results: On the last day of FR in early lactation, a reduction in milk yield and changes in serum metabolites compared to respective previous values were detected. The FR in mid-lactation resulted in no changes in milk production and serum metabolites. Milk cortisol was highest during first wk of lactation and remained on comparable levels thereafter. Milk yield and composition were not influenced by FR. Lameness resulted in enhanced milk cortisol levels.

Conclusion: Milk cortisol could be used as an indicator of painful symptoms such as lameness. Higher values of milk cortisol levels during first wk of lactation should be taken into account for interpretation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Cortisol (nmol/L) in skimmed milk of multiparious cows during the experimental period. Grey shaded areas indicate three days before, three days of and three days after feed restrictions (70 % of previous ad libitum energy intake) during early (d 23–31 pp) and mid-lactation (d 138–146 pp). Values are presented as LSM ± SEM
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Fig2: Cortisol (nmol/L) in skimmed milk of multiparious cows during the experimental period. Grey shaded areas indicate three days before, three days of and three days after feed restrictions (70 % of previous ad libitum energy intake) during early (d 23–31 pp) and mid-lactation (d 138–146 pp). Values are presented as LSM ± SEM

Mentions: The morning milk cortisol concentration in skimmed milk was effected by the day in milk (P < 0.05; Fig. 2). Highest concentrations were observed during the first wk of lactation (5.8 ± 0.48 nmol/L). Thereafter, the weekly values were comparable (between 3.6 and 6.2 nmol/L). Second parity animals displayed in trend lower milk cortisol concentrations in comparison with higher parity animals (4.59 ± 0.27 vs. 5.15 ± 0.28 nmol/L; P = 0.07). Concentrations of milk cortisol were not elevated after moving the animals to a tie-stall barn on d 23 and 137 pp, respectively (Fig. 2). Also, restricted feeding did not affect milk cortisol levels (Table 1). Higher cortisol concentrations were analyzed in morning milk of lame cows in comparison with concentrations of sound cows (3.69 ± 0.16 vs. 6.05 ± 0.38 nmol/L for sound and lame cows; P < 0.01). Simple correlations between milk cortisol and other parameters revealed a low negative relationship to yields of milk (−0.170), protein (−0.134) and fat (−0.091; P < 0.01). Low positive correlation could be observed between milk cortisol and protein concentration (0.096, P < 0.01). Furthermore, blood serum NEFA levels were positively correlated to amounts of milk cortisol (0.149, P < 0.05).Fig. 2


Cortisol levels in skimmed milk during the first 22 weeks of lactation and response to short-term metabolic stress and lameness in dairy cows.

Gellrich K, Sigl T, Meyer HH, Wiedemann S - J Anim Sci Biotechnol (2015)

Cortisol (nmol/L) in skimmed milk of multiparious cows during the experimental period. Grey shaded areas indicate three days before, three days of and three days after feed restrictions (70 % of previous ad libitum energy intake) during early (d 23–31 pp) and mid-lactation (d 138–146 pp). Values are presented as LSM ± SEM
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4524505&req=5

Fig2: Cortisol (nmol/L) in skimmed milk of multiparious cows during the experimental period. Grey shaded areas indicate three days before, three days of and three days after feed restrictions (70 % of previous ad libitum energy intake) during early (d 23–31 pp) and mid-lactation (d 138–146 pp). Values are presented as LSM ± SEM
Mentions: The morning milk cortisol concentration in skimmed milk was effected by the day in milk (P < 0.05; Fig. 2). Highest concentrations were observed during the first wk of lactation (5.8 ± 0.48 nmol/L). Thereafter, the weekly values were comparable (between 3.6 and 6.2 nmol/L). Second parity animals displayed in trend lower milk cortisol concentrations in comparison with higher parity animals (4.59 ± 0.27 vs. 5.15 ± 0.28 nmol/L; P = 0.07). Concentrations of milk cortisol were not elevated after moving the animals to a tie-stall barn on d 23 and 137 pp, respectively (Fig. 2). Also, restricted feeding did not affect milk cortisol levels (Table 1). Higher cortisol concentrations were analyzed in morning milk of lame cows in comparison with concentrations of sound cows (3.69 ± 0.16 vs. 6.05 ± 0.38 nmol/L for sound and lame cows; P < 0.01). Simple correlations between milk cortisol and other parameters revealed a low negative relationship to yields of milk (−0.170), protein (−0.134) and fat (−0.091; P < 0.01). Low positive correlation could be observed between milk cortisol and protein concentration (0.096, P < 0.01). Furthermore, blood serum NEFA levels were positively correlated to amounts of milk cortisol (0.149, P < 0.05).Fig. 2

Bottom Line: On the last day of FR in early lactation, a reduction in milk yield and changes in serum metabolites compared to respective previous values were detected.The FR in mid-lactation resulted in no changes in milk production and serum metabolites.Higher values of milk cortisol levels during first wk of lactation should be taken into account for interpretation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Physiology Weihenstephan, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, 85354 Freising, Germany.

ABSTRACT

Background: Cortisol is secreted into blood in reaction to acute stress, but also in phases of diminished feed intake and changed animal behavior. As cows do not always show clear signs of discomfort, reliable diagnostic markers could be used to provide information regarding individual cows' distress. The objective of this study was to establish an ether free immunoassay for the detection of cortisol and to determine values during the first 22 weeks of lactation. Furthermore, the response in milk cortisol levels was assessed during times of metabolic stress and pain associated symptoms of lameness.

Methods: Milk yield and composition, blood serum glucose, NEFA and BHBA as well as milk cortisol were determined in 24 multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows over the course of the first 22 weeks of lactation. Animals were further checked for signs of clinical diseases on a daily basis. Two feed restrictions over three days (FR; 70 % of precious ad libitum intake) were performed during the 4(th) wk and the 21(st) wk, respectively. An ELISA for cortisol measurement in easily accessible bovine skimmed milk was established and applied.

Results: On the last day of FR in early lactation, a reduction in milk yield and changes in serum metabolites compared to respective previous values were detected. The FR in mid-lactation resulted in no changes in milk production and serum metabolites. Milk cortisol was highest during first wk of lactation and remained on comparable levels thereafter. Milk yield and composition were not influenced by FR. Lameness resulted in enhanced milk cortisol levels.

Conclusion: Milk cortisol could be used as an indicator of painful symptoms such as lameness. Higher values of milk cortisol levels during first wk of lactation should be taken into account for interpretation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus