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Changes in milk performance and hepatic metabolism in mid-lactating dairy goats after being fed a high concentrate diet for 10 weeks

  • H. B. Dong (a1), L. L. Sun (a1), R. H. Cong (a2), S. Y. Tao (a1), Y. Q. DuanMu (a1), J. Tian (a1), Y. D. Ni (a1) and R. Q. Zhao (a1)...

Abstract

Feeding a high concentrate (HC) diet is a widely used strategy for supporting high milk yields, yet it may cause certain metabolic disorders. This study aimed to investigate the changes in milk production and hepatic metabolism in goats fed different proportions of concentrate in the diet for 10 weeks. In total, 12 mid-lactating goats were randomly assigned to an HC diet (65% concentrate of dry matter, n=6) or a low concentrate (LC) diet (35% concentrate of dry matter, n=6). Compared with LC, HC goats produced greater amounts of volatile fatty acids and produced more milk and milk lactose, fat and protein (P<0.01). HC goats showed a greater concentration of ATP, NAD, plasma non-esterified fatty acids and hepatic triglycerides than LC goats (P<0.05). Real-time PCR results showed that messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of gluconeogenic genes, namely, glucose-6-phosphatase, pyruvate carboxylase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase were significantly up-regulated and accompanied greater gluconeogenic enzyme activities in the liver of HC goats. Moreover, the expression of hepatic lipogenic genes including sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c, fatty acid synthase and diacylglycerol acyltransferase mRNA was also up-regulated by the HC diet (P<0.05). HC goats had greater hepatic phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase than LC (P<0.05). Furthermore, histone-3-lysine-27-acetylation contributed to this elevation of gluconeogenic gene expression. These results indicate that lactating goats fed an HC diet for 10 weeks produced more milk, which was associated with up-regulated gene expression and enzyme activities involved in hepatic gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis.

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