Abstract #T288

# T288
Maternal ethyl-cellulose rumen-protected methionine supplementation alters blood biomarkers and immune function in neonatal Holstein calves.
A. S. Alharthi*1, F. Batistel1, C. Parys2, A. Helmbrecht2, M. A. Ballou3, E. Trevisi4, J. J. Loor1, 1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, 2Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH, Hanau-Wolfgang, Germany, 3Department of Animal Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, 4Istituto di Zootecnica, Facoltà di Scienze Agrarie Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of ethyl-cellulose rumen-protected methionine supplementation during late-pregnancy of dams on blood biomarkers and neutrophil function of calves. We used 16 Holstein heifer calves born to cows receiving during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy a control diet (CON; 1.47 Mcal/kg dry matter and 15.3% crude protein) or CON plus ethyl cellulose rumen-protected methionine (MET; Mepron®, Evonik Industries AG, Germany). After birth, calves (n = 4 in each group) were randomly allocated considering dam treatment and colostrum as follows: calves from CON cows and colostrum from CON cows; calves from CON cows and colostrum from MET cows; calves from MET cows and colostrum from MET cows; and calves from MET cows and colostrum from CON cows. Blood was collected from the jugular vein at birth (before receiving colostrum, 0 d), 24 h after first colostrum and at 7, 21, 42 and 50 d of age. Birth body weight did not differ among calves. At birth calves from dams fed MET had a tendency for greater creatinine (P = 0.10; 248 vs 204 μmol/L ± 17), NEFA (P = 0.15; 1.22 vs 0.99 mmol/L ± 0.11), and albumin (P = 0.13; 30.6 vs 29.2 g/L ± 0.43). Over time, whole blood neutrophil phagocytosis in response to an in vitro challenge increased (MET × day, P = 0.02) to a greater extent in MET calves. Overall, MET calves had greater (0 to 52 d) neutrophil oxidative burst (P = 0.09; 61 vs 53% ± 3). Furthermore, these calves had lower concentration of nitric oxide (P = 0.03; 146.9 vs 166.8 μmol/L ± 5.9) and lower (P = 0.05; 147.2 vs 165.0 μmol/L ± 5.9) plasma ferric reducing ability (an antioxidant capacity assay). Regardless of cow diet, all heifers receiving colostrum from MET cows had overall greater (P = 0.05; 7.1 vs 6.4 mmol/L ± 0.25) blood glucose and lower (P = 0.03; 147 vs 167 μmol/L ± 5) nitric oxide concentration. Our results highlight the potential role of MET supply during late-gestation on oxidative stress and immune function during early life. The link between these factors and growth performance remain to be elucidated.

Key Words: fetal programming, nutrition, nutrigenomics