Changes in fatty acids in plasma and association with the inflammatory response in dairy cows abomasally infused with essential fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid during late and early lactation

M. Gnott, L. Vogel, C. Kröger-Koch, D. Dannenberger, A. Tuchscherer, A. Tröscher, Erminio Trevisi, T. Stefaniak, J. Bajzert, A. Starke, M. Mielenz, L. Bachmann, H. M. Hammon

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Dairy cows are exposed to increased inflammatory processes in the transition period from late pregnancy to early lactation. Essential fatty acids (EFA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) are thought to modulate the inflammatory response in dairy cows. The present study investigated the effects of a combined EFA and CLA infusion on the fatty acid (FA) status in plasma lipids, and whether changes in the FA pattern were associated with the acute phase and inflammatory response during late pregnancy and early lactation. Rumen-cannulated Holstein cows (n = 40) were assigned from wk 9 antepartum to wk 9 postpartum to 1 of 4 treatment groups. Cows were abomasally supplemented with coconut oil (CTRL, 76 g/d), linseed and safflower oil (EFA, 78 g/d of linseed oil and 4 g/d of safflower oil; ratio of oils = 19.5:1; n-6:n-3 FA ratio = 1:3), Lutalin (CLA, 38 g/d; isomers cis-9,trans-11 and trans-10,cis-12; each 10 g/d), or both (EFA+CLA). Blood samples were taken to measure changes in FA in blood plasma on d −63, −42, 1, 28, and 56, and in plasma lipid fractions (cholesterol esters, free fatty acids, phospholipids, and triglycerides) on d −42, 1, and 56 relative to calving, and in erythrocyte membrane (EM) on d 56 after calving. Traits related to the acute phase response and inflammation were measured in blood throughout the study. Liver samples were obtained for biopsy on d −63, −21, 1, 28, and 63 relative to calving to measure the mRNA abundance of genes related to the inflammatory response. The concentrations of α-linolenic acid and n-3 FA metabolites increased in lipid fractions (especially phospholipids) and EM due to EFA supplementation with higher α-linolenic acid but lower n-3 metabolite concentrations in EFA+CLA than in EFA treatment only. Concentration of linoleic acid decreased in plasma fat toward calving and increased during early lactation in all groups. Concentration of plasma arachidonic acid was lower in EFA- than in non-EFA-treated groups in lipid fractions and EM. The cis-9,trans-11 CLA increased in all lipid fractions and EM after both CLA treatments. Plasma haptoglobin was lowered by EFA treatment before calving. Plasma bilirubin was lower in EFA and CLA than in CTRL at calving. Plasma concentration of IL-1β was higher in EFA than in CTRL and EFA+CLA at certain time points before and after calving. Plasma fibrinogen dropped faster in CLA than in EFA and EFA+CLA on d 14 postpartum. Plasma paraoxonase tended to be elevated by EFA treatment, and was higher in EFA+CLA than in CTRL on d 49. Hepatic mRNA abundance revealed time changes but no treatment effects with respect to the inflammatory response. Our data confirmed the enrichment of n-3 FA in EM by EFA treatment and the inhibition of n-3 FA desaturation by CLA treatment. The elevated n-3 FA status and reduced n-6:n-3 ratio by EFA treatment indicated a more distinct effect on the inflammatory response during the transition period than the single CLA treatment, and the combined EFA+CLA treatment caused minor additional changes on the anti-inflammatory response.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)11889-11910
Numero di pagine22
RivistaJournal of Dairy Science
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • conjugated linoleic acid
  • inflammatory response
  • lipid fraction
  • α-linolenic acid


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