Inflammatory status and metabolic changes at dry-off in high-yield dairy cows

Matteo Mezzetti, Andrea Minuti*, Fiorenzo Piccioli Cappelli, Erminio Trevisi

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

7 Citazioni (Scopus)


Our study investigates metabolic changes occurring at dry-off and the contribution of milk yield (MY) in such alterations. Thirteen Holsteins were dried off at 55 days from expected calving day (assumed as 0 days from dry-off, DFD) and divided in two groups according to their average daily MY in the last week of lactation, assuming a cut-off of 15 kg·d−1: low MY (7 cows) and high MY (6 cows). From −7 to 34 DFD dry matter intake (DMI) and rumination time were measured. Blood samples were collected at −7, 2, 7, 27 and 34 DFD to assess an haematological and metabolic profile and at −7, 7 and 34 DFD to test functions of circulating white blood cell (WBC) through ex vivo challenges. Data were included in a mixed model for repeated measures assuming MY at dry-off, time and their interaction as fixed effects. After dry-off, DMI was reduced and rumination time was increased in all the animals. High MY cows had greater DMI and rumination time than low MY cows. In blood, WBC counts decreased at 7 DFD and increased the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines at 7 and 34 DFD. Plasmatic concentrations of liver enzymes indicators, positive acute phase proteins (APPs); and nitrogen species increased after dry-off. Conversely, negative APPs and antioxidant species decreased. Those alterations were more marked in high MY animals. This study suggests that dry-off decreased liver function, triggered a systemic inflammation and depleted antioxidant systems, especially in the group of cows with high MY at dry-off.Highlights Inflammation, liver dysfunctions and altered redox balance has been detected after dry-off in all the animals. Cows with highest milk yield before halting of milk removal faced the most severe metabolic challenges. Such founding indicates the management of dry-off as a key point for dairy cows health.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)51-65
Numero di pagine15
RivistaItalian Journal of Animal Science
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Innate immunity
  • immune dysfunction
  • inflammation
  • metabolic stress


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