Effects of nutrient restriction on mammary cell turnover and mammary gland remodeling in lactating dairy cows

Dessauge, F.; Lollivier, V.; Ponchon, B.; Bruckmaier, Rupert; Finot, L.; Wiart, S.; Cutullic, E.; Disenhaus, C.; Barbey, S.; Boutinaud, M. (2011). Effects of nutrient restriction on mammary cell turnover and mammary gland remodeling in lactating dairy cows. Journal of dairy science, 94(9), pp. 4623-35. Savoy, Ill.: American Dairy Science Association 10.3168/jds.2010-4012

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a severe nutrient restriction on mammary tissue morphology and remodeling, mammary epithelial cell (MEC) turnover and activity, and hormonal status in lactating dairy cows. We used 16 Holstein x Normande crossbred dairy cows, divided into 2 groups submitted to different feeding levels (basal and restricted) from 2 wk before calving to wk 11 postpartum. Restricted-diet cows had lower 11-wk average daily milk yield from calving to slaughter than did basal-diet cows (20.5 vs. 33.5 kg/d). Feed restriction decreased milk fat, protein, and lactose yields. Restriction also led to lower plasma insulin-like growth factor 1 and higher growth hormone concentrations. Restricted-diet cows had lighter mammary glands than did basal-diet cows. The total amount of DNA in the mammary gland and the size of the mammary acini were smaller in the restricted-diet group. Feed restriction had no significant effect on MEC proliferation at the time of slaughter but led to a higher level of apoptosis in the mammary gland. Gelatin zymography highlighted remodeling of the mammary extracellular matrix in restricted-diet cows. Udders from restricted-diet cows showed lower transcript expression of alpha-lactalbumin and kappa-casein. In conclusion, nutrient restriction resulted in lower milk yield in lactating dairy cows, partly due to modulation of MEC activity and a lower number of mammary cells. An association was found between feed restriction-induced changes in the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-1 axis and mammary epithelial cell dynamics.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Bruckmaier, Rupert




American Dairy Science Association




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:31

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2015 14:41

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/12149 (FactScience: 218437)

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