Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 August 2018
This study examined the hypothesis that xanthosine (XS) treatment would promote mammary-specific gene expression and stem cell transcripts and have a positive influence on milk yield of dairy goats. Seven primiparous Beetal goats were assigned to the study. Five days after kidding, one gland (either left or right) was infused with XS (TRT) twice daily for 3 d and the other gland with no XS infusion served as a control (CON). Mammary biopsies were collected at 10 d and RNA was isolated. Gene expression analysis of milk synthesis genes, mammary stem/progenitor cell markers, cell proliferation and differentiation markers were performed using real time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Results showed that the transcripts of milk synthesis genes (BLG4, CSN2, LALBA, FABP3, CD36) and mammary stem/progenitor cell markers (ALDH1 and NR5A2) were increased in as a result of XS treatment. Average milk yield in TRT glands was increased marginally (approximately ~2% P = 0·05, paired t-test) per gland relative to CON gland until 7 wk. After 7 wk, milk yield of TRT and CON glands did not differ. Analysis of milk composition revealed that protein, lactose, fat and solids-not-fat percentages remained the same in TRT and CON glands. These results suggest that XS increases expression of milk synthesis genes, mammary stem/progenitor cells and has a small effect on milk yield.