Systemic profiling of ectopic fat deposits in the reproductive tract of dairy cows

Flavio Di Giacinto, Giuseppe Maulucci, Marco De Spirito, Martina Crociati, Elisabetta Manuali, Giuseppe Stradaioli, Lakamy Sylla, Maurizio Monaci

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

5 Citazioni (Scopus)


During the transition period, high-yielding dairy cows suffer from negative energy balance, intense lipomobilization and impaired lipid metabolism; this metabolic condition can lead to overburdened triglycerides accumulation in the liver, known as liver lipidosis, which has been associated to impaired fertility in dairy cows. The mechanisms of this impairment can be in principle correlated with the presence and the extent of ectopic fat depots. However, current methods for evaluating fat accumulation in liver and in the reproductive tract suffer from low resolution, sensitivity, and specificity. Confocal microscopes are equipped with Gallium arsenide phosphide detectors, thus enabling the acquisition of intense signals from tissue biopsies. This method could differentiate whether fat deposition occurred without requiring sample sectioning. Here, we examined with this technique liver, uterine and ovarian samples of heifers and regularly slaughtered repeat breeder and overconditioned dairy cows, to quantify lipid droplets and depots at a submicrometer scale with high specificity. With the aid of this technique, we found lipid depots in uterine and ovarian specimens. Moreover, we found that the size and number of depots increased with the degree of liver lipidosis. Further studies are needed to elucidate the relationship between the severity and extent of these deposits and the fertility of lactating dairy cows. Since tissues other than liver display different characteristic lipid droplet distributions, this technique can be potentially employed to shed new light on the pathogenesis of lipidosis and to assess new risk factors for infertility.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)46-53
Numero di pagine8
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Dairy cow
  • Equine
  • Fertility impairment
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Food Animals
  • Lipid droplets
  • Liver lipidosis
  • Small Animals
  • Triglycerides


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