Effects of intramuscular administration of folic acid and vitamin B12 on granulosa cells gene expression in postpartum dairy cows.

Gagnon, A.-È., Khan, D.R., Sirard, M.-A., Girard, C.L., LaForest, J.-P., and Richard, F.J. (2015). "Effects of intramuscular administration of folic acid and vitamin B12 on granulosa cells gene expression in postpartum dairy cows.", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98(11), pp. 7797-7809. doi : 10.3168/jds.2015-9623  Access to full text

Abstract

The fertility of dairy cows is challenged during early lactation, and better nutritional strategies need to be developed to address this issue. Combined supplementation of folic acid and vitamin B12 improve energy metabolism in the dairy cow during early lactation. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to explore the effects of this supplement on gene expression in granulosa cells from the dominant follicle during the postpartum period. Multiparous Holstein cows received weekly intramuscular injection of 320 mg of folic acid and 10 mg of vitamin B12 (treated group) beginning 24 (standard deviation = 4) d before calving until 56 d after calving, whereas the control group received saline. The urea plasma concentration was significantly decreased during the precalving period, and the concentration of both folate and vitamin B12 were increased in treated animals. Milk production and dry matter intake were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Plasma concentrations of folates and vitamin B12 were increased in treated animals. Daily dry matter intake was not significantly different between the 2 groups before [13.5 kg; standard error (SE) = 0.5] and after (23.6 kg; SE = 0.9) calving. Average energy-corrected milk tended to be greater in vitamin-treated cows, 39.7 (SE = 1.4) and 38.1 (SE = 1.3) kg/d for treated and control cows, respectively. After calving, average plasma concentration of β-hydroxybutyrate tended to be lower in cows injected with the vitamin supplement, 0.47 (SE = 0.04) versus 0.55 (SE = 0.03) for treated and control cows, respectively. The ovarian follicle ≥12 mm in diameter was collected by ovarian pick-up after estrus synchronization. Recovered follicular fluid volumes were greater in the vitamin-treated group. A microarray platform was used to investigate the effect of treatment on gene expression of granulosa cells. Lower expression of genes involved in the cell cycle and higher expression of genes associated with granulosa cell differentiation before ovulation were observed. Selected candidate genes were analyzed by reverse transcription quantitative PCR. Although the effects of intramuscular injections of folic acid and vitamin B12 on lactational performance and metabolic status of animals were limited, ingenuity pathway analysis of gene expression in granulosa cells suggests a stimulation of cell differentiation in vitamin-treated cows, which may be the result of an increase in LH secretion.

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