Oral administration of cobalt acetate alters milk fatty acid composition, consistent with an inhibition of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase in lactating ewes

P. Frutos*, P. G. Toral, Eva Ramos Morales, K. J. Shingfield, A. Belenguer, G. Hervas

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Previous investigations have shown that cobalt (Co) modifies milk fat composition in cattle, consistent with an inhibition of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase (SCD) activity, but it remains unclear whether other ruminant species are also affected. The present study examined the effects of oral administration of Co acetate on intake, rumen function, and milk production and fatty acid (FA) composition in sheep. Twenty lactating Assaf ewes were allocated into 1 of 4 groups and used in a continuous randomized block design that involved a 15-d adaptation, a 6-d treatment, and a 10-d posttreatment period. During the treatment period, animals received an oral drench supplying 0 (control), 3 (Co3), 6 (Co6), and 9 (Co9) mg of Co/kg of BW per day, administered in 3 equal doses at 8-h intervals. Cobalt acetate had no influence on intake or milk fat and protein concentrations, whereas treatments Co6 and Co9 tended to lower milk yield. Results on rumen parameters showed no effects on rumen fermentation, FA composition, or bacterial community structure. Administration of Co acetate decreased milk concentrations of FA containing a cis-9 double bond and SCD product:substrate ratios, consistent with an inhibition of SCD activity in the ovine mammary gland. Temporal changes in milk fat composition indicated that the effects of treatments were evident within 3 d of dosing, with further changes being apparent after 6 d and reverting to pretreatment values by d 6 after administration. Effect on milk FA composition did not differ substantially in response to incremental doses of Co acetate. On average, Co decreased milk cis-9 10:1/10:0, cis-9 12:1/12:0, cis-9 14:1/14:0, cis-9 16:1/16:0, cis-9 17:1/17:0, cis-9 18:1/18:0, and cis-9,trans-11 18:2/trans-11 18:1 concentration ratios by 30, 32, 38, 33, 21, 24, and 25%, respectively. Changes in milk fat cis-9 10:1, cis-9 12:1, and cis-9 14:1 concentrations to Co treatment indicated that 51% of cis-9 18:1 and cis-9,trans-11 18:2 secreted in milk originated from Delta(9)-desaturation. In conclusion, results demonstrated the potential of oral Co administration for the estimation of endogenous synthesis of FA containing a cis-9 double bond in the mammary gland of lactating ruminants. Indirect comparisons suggest that the effects of Co differ between sheep and cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1046
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume97
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • endogenous synthesis
  • Delta(9)-desaturase
  • mammary gland
  • sheep
  • CONJUGATED LINOLEIC-ACID
  • MAMMARY DELTA(9)-DESATURASE INDEX
  • DAIRY-COWS
  • FISH-OIL
  • SUNFLOWER OIL
  • ENDOGENOUS SYNTHESIS
  • BACTERIAL COMMUNITY
  • STERCULIC ACID
  • VACCENIC ACID
  • MARINE-ALGAE

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