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Expression of estrus near timed artificial insemination (TAI) is associated with greater fertility, and estrus detection could improve TAI fertility or direct TAI management, although accurate estrus detection can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate influence of estrus on pregnancy (artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI)) and to validate an alternative method to classify estrus/heat expression using tail chalking (HEATSC) in postpartum Bos indicus cows subjected to TAI in progesterone–estrogen-based protocols. In experiment 1 (Exp. 1), cows (5491) were subjected to visual observation of estrus after progesterone device removal, before TAI, and P/AI was evaluated according to estrus and body condition score (BCS). Cows received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate (EB). After 8 days, the device was removed and 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin was given. Later, animals in Exp. 1 received 1 mg EB and TAI 44 to 48 h. In the Exp. 2 – 3830 cows using similar protocol, received different ovulation inducers: 1 mg EB (n=1624) or 1 mg estradiol cypionate (EC; n=2206) on day 8 (D8). Cows were then marked with chalk, and HEATSC evaluated at TAI on D10 (HEATSC1 – no chalk removal=no estrus expression; HEATSC2 – partial chalk removal=low estrus expression; HEATSC3 – near complete/complete chalk removal=high estrus expression). In Exp. 1, cows showing estrus presented greater P/AI (48.4% v. 40.2%, P<0.05). In Exp. 2, P/AI (HEATSC1 – 40.0%; HEATSC2 – 49.7%; HEATSC3 – 60.9%; P<0.001), and larger follicle timed artificial insemination (LFTAI) (<0.001) varied according to HEATSC. There was no difference in P/AI (P=0.41) or LFTAI (P=0.33) according to ovulation inducer. Cows with greater BCS showed greater P/AI in both experiments (P<0.05). Estrus presence and greater HEATSC improved P/AI, and EC v. EB used promoted differential estrus manifestation (cows showing HEATSC2 and HEATSC3: 79.5% with EB v. 69.98% with EC use, P<0.001), however, with similar P/AI. The use of HEATSC in B. indicus cows subjected to TAI is useful to identify cows with greater estrus expression and consequently improved pregnancy rates in TAI, allowing the cows with low HEATSC to be targeted for additional treatments aimed at improving P/AI.
We present some recent advances on the question of enumeration and classification of self-dual codes invariant under finite non-solvable permutation groups. In particular, we examine the question for almost simple groups of sporadic or rank 3 types. As a by-product we determine all doubly even and extremal codes of length n ≤ 4095 which admit an almost simple group of sporadic or rank 3 type as a permutation group of automorphisms acting transitively on the code’s coordinate positions.
In Brazil, rabies surveillance is based on monitoring domestic and wild animals, although the most prevalent lineage of the rabies virus (RABV) currently diagnosed in Brazil is associated with bats, particularly non-haematophagous bats. Disease control is based on the mass vaccination of dogs and cats. We used data collected by the passive surveillance system of the city of Campinas from 2011 to 2015, to describe the temporal and geographic distributions of the bat specimens and RABV and discuss the current rabies surveillance with the advent of the declaration of canine and feline rabies-free areas in Brazil. We described the species, locations and health statuses of the collected bat specimens. Moreover, all samples were submitted for RABV diagnosis. Then, we performed a time series decomposition for each bat family. Additionally, we determined the spatiotemporal relative risk for RABV infection using the ratio of the kernel-smoothed estimates of spatiotemporal densities of RABV-positive and RABV-negative bats. From the 2537 bat specimens, the most numerous family was Molossidae (72%), followed by Vespertilionidae (14%) and Phyllostomidae (13%). The bat families behaved differently in terms of seasonal and spatial patterns. The distribution of bats varied geographically in the urban environment, with Molossidae and Phyllostomidae being observed downtown and Vespertilionidae being observed in peripheral zones. Concurrently, a significant relative risk of RABV infection was observed downtown for Vespertilionidae and in peripheral zones for Molossidae. No RABV-positive sample clusters were observed. As a result of the official declaration of RABV-free areas in southern Brazil, mass dog and cat vaccinations are expected to halt in the near future. This stoppage would make most dog and cat populations susceptible to other RABV lineages, such as those maintained by non-haematophagous bats. In this scenario, all information available on bats and RABV distribution in urban areas is essential. Currently, few studies have been conducted. Some local health authorities, such as that in Campinas, are spontaneously basing their surveillance efforts on bat rabies, which is the alternative in reality scenario of increased susceptibility to bat-associated RABV that is developing in Brazil.
The mechanisms involved in kidney disturbances during development, induced by vitamin D3 deficiency in female rats, that persist into adulthood were evaluated in this study. Female offspring from mothers fed normal (control group, n=8) or vitamin D-deficient (Vit.D-, n=10) diets were used. Three-month-old rats had their systolic blood pressure (SBP) measured and their blood and urine sampled to quantify vitamin D3 (Vit.D3), creatinine, Na+, Ca+2 and angiotensin II (ANGII) levels. The kidneys were then removed for nitric oxide (NO) quantification and immunohistochemical studies. Vit.D- pups showed higher SBP and plasma ANGII levels in adulthood (P<0.05) as well as decreased urine osmolality associated with increases in urinary volume (P<0.05). Decreased expression of JG12 (renal cortex and glomeruli) and synaptopodin (glomeruli) as well as reduced renal NO was also observed (P<0.05). These findings showed that renal disturbances in development in pups from Vit.D- mothers observed in adulthood may be related to the development of angiogenesis, NO and ANGII alterations.
Hepatocytes constitute the majority of hepatic cells, and play a key role in controlling systemic innate immunity, via pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and by synthesizing complement and acute phase proteins. Leishmania infantum, a protozoan parasite that causes human and canine leishmaniasis, infects liver by establishing inside the Kupffer cells. The current study proposes the elucidation of the immune response generated by dog hepatocytes when exposed to L. infantum. Additionally, the impact of adding leishmanicidal compound, meglumine antimoniate (MgA), to parasite-exposed hepatocytes was also addressed. L. infantum presents a high tropism to hepatocytes, establishing strong membrane interactions. The possibility of L. infantum internalization by hepatocytes was raised, but not confirmed. Hepatocytes were able to recognize parasite presence, inducing PRRs [nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD)1, NOD2 and Toll-like receptor (TLR)2] gene expression and generating a mix pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine response. Reduction of cytochrome P 450s enzyme activity was also observed concomitant with the inflammatory response. Addition of MgA increased NOD2, TLR4 and interleukin 10 gene expression, indicating an immunomodulatory role for MgA. Hepatocytes seem to have a major role in coordinating liver's innate immune response against L. infantum infection, activating inflammatory mechanisms, but always balancing the inflammatory response in order to avoid cell damage.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic scaffolding gene SHANK2 are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, their impact on the function of human neurons is unknown. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from affected individuals permits generation of live neurons to answer this question. Methods: We generated iPSCs by reprogramming dermal fibroblasts of neurotypic and ASD-affected donors. To isolate the effect of SHANK2, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out SHANK2 in control iPSCs and correct a heterozygous nonsense mutation in ASD-affected donor iPSCs. We then derived cortical neurons from SOX1+ neural precursor cells differentiated from these iPSCs. Using a novel assay that overcomes line-to-line variability, we compared neuronal morphology, total synapse number, and electrophysiological properties between SHANK2 mutants and controls. Results: Relative to controls, SHANK2 mutant neurons have increased dendrite complexity, dendrite length, total synapse number (1.5-2-fold), and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency (3-7.6-fold). Conclusions: ASD-associated heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SHANK2 increase synaptic connectivity among human neurons by increasing synapse number and sEPSC frequency. This is partially supported by increased dendrite length and complexity, providing evidence that SHANK2 functions as a suppressor of dendrite branching during neurodevelopment.
Nitrate (NO3−) is an ergogenic nutritional supplement that is widely used to improve physical performance. However, the effectiveness of NO3− supplementation has not been systematically investigated in individuals with different physical fitness levels. The present study analysed whether different fitness levels (non-athletes v. athletes or classification of performance levels), duration of the test used to measure performance (short v. long duration) and the test protocol (time trials v. open-ended tests v. graded-exercise tests) influence the effects of NO3− supplementation on performance. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted and reported according to the guidelines outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. A systematic search of electronic databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus and ProQuest, was performed in August 2017. On the basis of the search and inclusion criteria, fifty-four and fifty-three placebo-controlled studies evaluating the effects of NO3− supplementation on performance in humans were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis, respectively. NO3− supplementation was ergogenic in non-athletes (mean effect size (ES) 0·25; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·38), particularly in evaluations of performance using long-duration open-ended tests (ES 0·47; 95 % CI 0·23, 0·71). In contrast, NO3− supplementation did not enhance the performance of athletes (ES 0·04; 95 % CI −0·05, 0·15). After objectively classifying the participants into different performance levels, the frequency of trials showing ergogenic effects in individuals classified at lower levels was higher than that in individuals classified at higher levels. Thus, the present study indicates that dietary NO3− supplementation improves physical performance in non-athletes, particularly during long-duration open-ended tests.
To analyse the content and extent of marketing of ultra-processed food products (UPP) and their brand pages on Facebook, which are highly accessed by Brazilians.
Sixteen UPP brand pages on Facebook were selected from 250 pages that were the most liked by Brazilians in October 2015.
We analysed the frequency of ‘likes’ and members ‘talking about’ each one of the pages, in addition to fifteen marketing techniques used in the previous year (September 2014 to October 2015). The number of posts, likes, ‘shares’ and ‘commentaries’, and the mean number of likes, shares and commentaries per post, were collected for one month, from 23 September to 23 October 2015.
The two most liked pages were: Coke® (93 673 979 likes) and McDonald’s® (59 749 819 likes). Regarding the number of people talking about the pages, McDonald’s led with 555 891 commentaries, followed by Coke (287 274), Burger King® (246 148) and Kibon® (244 523). All pages used marketing techniques, which included photos, user conversations, presence of brand elements and links. Videos were observed on 93·8 % of the pages; promotions on 68·8 %; and celebrities on 62·5 %. In one month, Garoto®, Outback® and Coke were brands that published more than one post per day. Kibon achieved the highest ratio of likes per post (285 845·50) and Burger King had the highest mean shares per post (10 083·93), including commentaries per post (7958·13).
UPP marketing is extensively used on Facebook pages and is highly accessed by Brazilians, with UPP companies employing a diversity of marketing strategies.
Acinetobacter spp. are important healthcare pathogens, being closely linked to antibiotic resistance and outbreaks worldwide. Although such species are rarely observed in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), we describe the characteristics of 53 strains of Acinetobacter spp. isolated from the sputum of 39 Brazilian patients with CF. The species distribution was A. baumannii (n = 29), A. pittii (n = 13), A. nosocomialis (n = 8), A. seifertii (n = 1), A. soli (n = 1) and A. variabilis (n = 1) determined by partial rpoB gene sequencing. Sixteen strains (10 A. baumannii, 3 A. pittii and 3 A. nosocomialis) were multidrug-resistant (MDR) by disk diffusion test (30%) and eight MDR carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii strains harboured the blaOXA-23-like oxacillinase gene. Thirty-three sequence types (STs) were identified by multilocus sequence typing of which eight were novel (A. baumannii: 843, 844, 845, 847, 848; A. pitti: 643; A. nosocomialis: 862 and A. seifertii: 846); six STs (2 A. baumannii, 3 A. pittii and 1 A. nosocomialis) were found in more than one patient. Four strains of A. baumannii were assigned to two common clonal complexes (CCs), namely, CC1 (ST1, ST20 and ST160), and CC79 (ST79). This study underlines the extensive species diversity of Acinetobacter spp. strains in CF lung infections which may present difficulties for therapy due to significant antimicrobial resistance.
We studied the ontogenetic growth of goat wethers (castrated male goats) of the Saanen and Swiss Alpine breeds based on a large range of intraspecific body mass (BM). The body parts and the chemical constituents of the empty body were described by the allometric function by using BM and the empty body mass (EBM) as the predictors for morphological traits and chemical composition, respectively. We fitted the allometric scaling function by applying the SAS NLMIXED procedure, but to evaluate assumptions regarding variances in morphological and compositional traits, we combined the scaling function with homoscedastic (MOD1), and the heteroscedastic exponential (MOD2) and power-of-the-mean (MOD3) variance functions. We also predicted the ontogenetic growth by using the traditional log-log transformation and back-transformed results into the arithmetic scale (MOD4). We obtained predictions from MOD4 in the arithmetic scale by a two-step process, and evaluated MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3 by a model selection framework, and compared MOD4 with MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3 based on goodness-of-fit measures. Based on information criteria for model selection, heterogeneous variance functions were more likely to describe 10 over 36 traits with a low level of model selection uncertainty. One trait was predicted by averaging the MOD1 and MOD2 variance functions; and nine traits were better described by averaging the MOD2 and MOD3 variance functions. The predictions for other 16 traits were averaged from MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3. However, MOD4 better described 11 traits according to the goodness-of-fit measures. Depending on the variable being analyzed, the body parts and the chemical amounts exhibited the three types of allometric behavior with respect to BM and EBM, that is, positive, negative and isometric ontogenetic growth. Reference BMs, that is, 20, 27, 35 and 45 kg, were used to compute the net protein and energy requirements based on the first derivative of the scaling function, and the results were presented in reference to the EBM and EBM0.75. Both the net protein and energy requirements scaled to EBM0.75 increased from 20 to 45 kg of BM.
In the recent years it has been generally accepted that seismic parameters add an important observational constraint for the study of stellar populations and galaxy evolution. Padova-Trieste (PARSEC) evolutionary tracks are widely used to characterise stellar objects and stellar populations. Stellar models at the base of these studies suffer from uncertainties and, more important, degeneracy among different input parameters: stellar mass, chemical composition, central chemical mixing, age, etc. Adding seismic properties to the classic parameters for stars at different evolutionary states, from the H main-sequence to the asymptotic giant branch, is a powerful tool to calibrate physical processes in stellar models, and hence to improve our interpretation of Galactic and extra-Galactic observations.
Plants’ ability to rebuild their tiller population is affected by weather changes and management strategies. The hypothesis of the present study was that frequency and severity of defoliation alter Mulato grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis × Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu) sward development, and the proportion of aerial and basal tillers, interfering with sward stability. The objective was to evaluate aerial, basal and total tiller population density and changes in tillering dynamics. Treatments corresponded to strategies of rotational grazing characterized by combinations between two pre-grazing (95% and maximum canopy light interception during regrowth; LI95% and LIMax) and two post-grazing conditions (15 and 20 cm stubble height). The experimental period comprised four seasons of the year: summer 2008 (February–March 2008); autumn–early spring (April to mid-November 2008); late spring (mid-November–December 2008); and summer 2009 (January–March 2009). Density of aerial tillers decreased from summer 2008 to late spring. Tiller death decreased from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring. Aerial and total tiller death increased from late spring to summer 2009, mainly for the LI95% treatment. No differences were observed in the tiller population stability index of aerial tillers for LI treatments or post-grazing heights. The balance between tiller appearance and death for basal tillers remained relatively stable from summer 2008 to late spring. For aerial tillers the balance decreased to negative values from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring for both LI treatments. For total tiller population, the balance decreased to negative values from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring. Results indicated a strong seasonal effect on Mulato grass tillering and growth. Tillering dynamics were affected primarily by grazing frequency, which changed the relative importance of basal and aerial tillers. The results suggested that basal tillering was the predominant perennation pathway.
We performed two different approaches (broth enrichment step prior to culture (BEC) and PCR (BEPCR)) for detecting Streptococcus pneumoniae from nasopharyngeal specimens collected from 242 children aged <6 years attending one hospital (n = 140) and one childcare centre (n = 102) in a major urban area in Brazil. These specimens were collected immediately before the introduction of the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) and the 13-valent vaccine (PCV13) for routine use in Brazil. Results were compared with previous findings obtained with direct culture (DC) on a selective medium. Colonisation prevalence was 58·3% (n = 141), being higher among children attending the childcare centre (62·7% vs. 55%). The culture-based methods (DC and BEC) enabled the detection of S. pneumoniae in 119 (49·2%) and 115 (47·5%) children, respectively. The PCR-based method (BEPCR) was more sensitive and 137 (56·6%) carriers were identified. Twenty-six serogroups/serotypes were identified, predominantly 6B, 19F, 14, 6A, 15C and 23F. Multiple colonisation was observed in 13 (5·4%) children. The estimated serotypes coverage of available PCVs was 40·4% for the 10-valent (included in the Brazilian immunisation programme) and 55·8% for the 13-valent (only available in private clinics). The use of robust approaches to obtain a more realistic insight about the asymptomatic carrier status is of paramount importance to estimate and assess the impact of vaccine implementation. The combination between culture-based and molecular methods constitutes a suitable strategy.
Leishmaniasis are diseases caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania and transmitted to humans by the bite of infected insects of the subfamily Phlebotominae. Current drug therapy shows high toxicity and severe adverse effects. Recently, two oligopeptidases (OPBs) were identified in Leishmania amazonensis, namely oligopeptidase B (OPB) and oligopeptidase B2 (OPB2). These OPBs could be ideal targets, since both enzymes are expressed in all parasite lifecycle and were not identified in human. This work aimed to identify possible dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis. The three-dimensional structures of both enzymes were built by comparative modelling and used to perform a virtual screening of ZINC database by DOCK Blaster server. It is the first time that OPB models from L. amazonensis are used to virtual screening approach. Four hundred compounds were identified as possible inhibitors to each enzyme. The top scored compounds were submitted to refinement by AutoDock program. The best results suggest that compounds interact with important residues, as Tyr490, Glu612 and Arg655 (OPB numbers). The identified compounds showed better results than antipain and drugs currently used against leishmaniasis when ADMET in silico were performed. These compounds could be explored in order to find dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis.
Bicuspid aortic valve is the most common CHD. Its association with early valvular dysfunction, endocarditis, thoracic aorta dilatation, and aortic dissection is well established.
The aim of this study was to assess the incidence and predictors of cardiac events in adults with bicuspid aortic valve.
We carried out a retrospective analysis of cardiac outcomes in ambulatory adults with bicuspid aortic valve followed-up in a tertiary hospital centre. Outcomes were defined as follows: interventional – intervention on the aortic valve or thoracic aorta; medical – death, aortic dissection, aortic valve endocarditis, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or ischaemic heart disease requiring hospital admission; and a composite end point of both. Kaplan–Meier curves were generated to determine event rates, and predictors of cardiac events were determined by multivariate analysis.
A total of 227 patients were followed-up over 13±9 years; 29% of patients developed severe aortic valve dysfunction and 12.3% reached ascending thoracic aorta dimensions above 45 mm. At least one cardiac outcome occurred in 38.8% of patients, with an incidence rate at 20 years of follow-up of 47±4%; 33% of patients were submitted to an aortic valve or thoracic aorta intervention. Survival 20 years after diagnosis was 94±2%. Independent predictors of the composite end point were baseline moderate–severe aortic valve dysfunction (hazard ratio, 3.19; 95% confidence interval, 1.35–7.54; p<0.01) and aortic valve leaflets calcification (hazard ratio, 4.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.91–11.64; p<0.005).
In this study of bicuspid aortic valve, the long-term survival was excellent but with occurrence of frequent cardiovascular events. Baseline aortic valve calcification and dysfunction were the only independent predictors of events.
Achromobacter spp. are opportunistic pathogens increasingly recovered from adult patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). We report the characterization of 122 Achromobacter spp. isolates recovered from 39 CF patients by multilocus sequence typing, virulence traits, and susceptibility to antimicrobials. Two species, A. xylosoxidans (77%) and A. ruhlandii (23%) were identified. All isolates showed a similar biofilm formation ability, and a positive swimming phenotype. By contrast, 4·3% and 44·4% of A. xylosoxidans and A. ruhlandii, respectively, exhibited a negative swarming phenotype, making the swimming and swarming abilities of A. xylosoxidans significantly higher than those of A. ruhlandii. A. xylosoxidans isolates from an outbreak clone also exhibited significantly higher motility. Both species were generally susceptible to ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, imipenem and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole and there was no significant difference in susceptibility between isolates from chronic or sporadic infection. However, A. xylosoxidans isolates from chronic and sporadic cases were significantly more resistant to imipenem and ceftazidime than isolates of the outbreak clone.
Urban slum environments in the tropics are conducive to the proliferation and the spread of rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens to humans. Calodium hepaticum (Brancroft, 1893) is a zoonotic nematode known to infect a variety of mammalian hosts, including humans. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are considered the most important mammalian host of C. hepaticum and are therefore a potentially useful species to inform estimates of the risk to humans living in urban slum environments. There is a lack of studies systematically evaluating the role of demographic and environmental factors that influence both carriage and intensity of infection of C. hepaticum in rodents from urban slum areas within tropical regions. Carriage and the intensity of infection of C. hepaticum were studied in 402 Norway rats over a 2-year period in an urban slum in Salvador, Brazil. Overall, prevalence in Norway rats was 83% (337/402). Independent risk factors for C. hepaticum carriage in R. norvegicus were age and valley of capture. Of those infected the proportion with gross liver involvement (i.e. >75% of the liver affected, a proxy for a high level intensity of infection), was low (8%, 26/337). Sixty soil samples were collected from ten locations to estimate levels of environmental contamination and provide information on the potential risk to humans of contracting C. hepaticum from the environment. Sixty percent (6/10) of the sites were contaminated with C. hepaticum. High carriage levels of C. hepaticum within Norway rats and sub-standard living conditions within slum areas may increase the risk to humans of exposure to the infective eggs of C. hepaticum. This study supports the need for further studies to assess whether humans are becoming infected within this community and whether C. hepaticum is posing a significant risk to human health.
This experiment compared insulin sensitivity parameters, milk production and reproductive outcomes in lactating dairy cows consuming excessive energy, and receiving in a 2×2 factorial arrangement design: (1) concentrate based on ground corn (CRN; n=13) or citrus pulp (PLP; n=13), and (2) supplemented (n=14) or not (n=12) with 2.5 g/day of chromium (Cr)-propionate. During the experiment (day 0 to 182), 26 multiparous, non-pregnant, lactating Gir×Holstein cows (initial days in milk=80±2) were offered corn silage for ad libitum consumption, and individually received concentrate formulated to allow diets to provide 160% of their daily requirements of net energy for lactation. Cow BW and body condition score (BCS) were recorded weekly. Milk production was recorded daily and milk samples collected weekly. Blood samples were collected weekly before the morning concentrate feeding. Glucose tolerance tests (GTT; 0.5 g of glucose/kg of BW) were performed on days −3, 60, 120 and 180. Follicle aspiration for in vitro embryo production was performed via transvaginal ovum pick-up on days −1, 82 and 162. No treatment differences were detected (P⩾0.25) for BW and BCS change during the experiment. Within weekly blood samples, concentrations of serum insulin and glucose, as well as insulin : glucose ratio were similar among treatments (P⩾0.19), whereas CRN had less (P<0.01) non-esterified fatty acid concentrations compared with PLP (0.177 v. 0.215 mmol/l; SEM=0.009). During the GTT, no treatment differences were detected (P⩾0.16) for serum glucose concentration, glucose clearance rate, glucose half-life and insulin : glucose ratio. Serum insulin concentrations were less (P=0.04) in CRN supplemented with Cr-propionate compared with non-supplemented CRN (8.2 v. 13.5 µIU/ml, respectively; SEM=1.7), whereas Cr-propionate supplementation did not impact (P=0.70) serum insulin within PLP cows. Milk production, milk fat and solid concentrations were similar (P⩾0.48) between treatments. However, CRN had greater (P<0.01) milk protein concentration compared with PLP (3.54% v. 3.14%, respectively; SEM=0.08). No treatment differences were detected (P⩾0.35) on number of viable oocytes collected and embryos produced within each aspiration. In summary, feeding a citrus pulp-based concentrate to lactating dairy cows consuming excessive energy did not improve insulin sensitivity, milk production and reproductive outcomes, whereas Cr-propionate supplementation only enhanced insulin sensitivity in cows receiving a corn-based concentrate during a GTT.
This experiment compared growth, physiological, and reproductive responses of beef heifers with (MI) or without (CON) access to a creep-feeder, as a manner to stimulate metabolic imprinting while nursing their dams. On day 0, 60 Angus×Hereford heifers were ranked by BW and age (140±3 kg and 68±3 days), and assigned to pairs so all ranking criteria were similar between heifers within each pair. On day 1, pairs were randomly assigned to MI (n=15) or CON (n=15). From day 1 to 51, MI pairs and their dams were allocated to 15 drylot pens where heifers had ad libitum access to a corn-based supplement through a creep-feeder. The CON pairs and their dams were maintained in an adjacent single drylot pen. From day 52 to 111, treatments were managed as a single group on a semiarid range pasture. On day 111, heifers were weaned and allocated to two pastures (one pasture/treatment), receiving hay and a corn-based concentrate until day 326. Heifer BW was recorded before and at the end of the creep-feeding period (day 1 to 51), and on days 112 and 326. On days 0, 51, 111, 187, 261, and 325, jugular blood was collected and real-time ultrasonography for longissimus muscle depth and backfat thickness assessment was performed. Blood was also collected every 10 days from days 113 to 323 for puberty evaluation via plasma progesterone. Liver and subcutaneous fat biopsies were performed on days 51, 111, 261 and 325. Average daily gain was greater (P<0.01) for MI than CON from day 1 to 51, tended (P=0.09) to be greater for CON than MI from day 112 to 326, while BW on day 326 was similar between treatments. On day 51, MI had greater (P⩽0.01) plasma IGF-I and glucose concentrations, as well as mRNA expression of hepatic pyruvate carboxylase and adipose fatty acid synthase than CON. On days 261 and 325, plasma insulin concentrations were greater (P⩽0.03) in CON than MI. Mean mRNA expression of hepatic IGF-I and adipose peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma were greater (P⩽0.05) in MI than CON. No treatment effects were detected for puberty attainment rate. In conclusion, supplementing nursing heifers via creep-feeding for 50 days altered physiological and biochemical variables suggestive of a metabolic imprinting effect, but did not hasten their puberty attainment.