Multifaceted role of one-carbon metabolism on immunometabolic control and growth during pregnancy, lactation and the neonatal period in dairy cattle

Danielle N. Coleman, Abdulrahman S. Alharthi, Yusheng Liang, Matheus Gomes Lopes, Vincenzo Lopreiato, Mario Vailati-Riboni, Juan J. Loor

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Dairy cattle undergo dramatic metabolic, endocrine, physiologic and immune changes during the peripartal period largely due to combined increases in energy requirements for fetal growth and development, milk production, and decreased dry matter intake. The negative nutrient balance that develops results in body fat mobilization, subsequently leading to triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulation in the liver along with reductions in liver function, immune dysfunction and a state of inflammation and oxidative stress. Mobilization of muscle and gluconeogenesis are also enhanced, while intake of vitamins and minerals is decreased, contributing to metabolic and immune dysfunction and oxidative stress. Enhancing post-ruminal supply of methyl donors is one approach that may improve immunometabolism and production synergistically in peripartal cows. At the cellular level, methyl donors (e.g. methionine, choline, betaine and folic acid) interact through one-carbon metabolism to modulate metabolism, immune responses and epigenetic events. By modulating those pathways, methyl donors may help increase the export of very low-density lipoproteins to reduce liver TAG and contribute to antioxidant synthesis to alleviate oxidative stress. Thus, altering one-carbon metabolism through methyl donor supplementation is a viable option to modulate immunometabolism during the peripartal period. This review explores available data on the regulation of one-carbon metabolism pathways in dairy cows in the context of enzyme regulation, cellular sensors and signaling mechanisms that might respond to increased dietary supply of specific methyl donors. Effects of methyl donors beyond the one-carbon metabolism pathways, including production performance, immune cell function, mechanistic target or rapamycin signaling, and fatty acid oxidation will also be highlighted. Furthermore, the effects of body condition and feeding system (total mixed ration vs. pasture) on one-carbon metabolism pathways are explored. Potential effects of methyl donor supply during the pepartum period on dairy calf growth and development also are discussed. Lastly, practical nutritional recommendations related to methyl donor metabolism during the peripartal period are presented. Nutritional management during the peripartal period is a fertile area of research, hence, underscoring the importance for developing a systems understanding of the potential immunometabolic role that dietary methyl donors play during this period to promote health and performance.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)27-N/A
RivistaJournal of Animal Science and Biotechnology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Epigenetics
  • Immune system
  • Metabolism
  • Methyl donor
  • Transition period


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