Short-term feed intake is regulated by macronutrient oxidation in lactating Holstein cows

Derno, M.; Nürnberg, G.; Schön, P.; Schwarm, A.; Röntgen, M.; Hammon, H. M.; Metges, C. C.; Bruckmaier, Rupert M.; Kuhla, B. (2013). Short-term feed intake is regulated by macronutrient oxidation in lactating Holstein cows. Journal of dairy science, 96(2), pp. 971-980. American Dairy Science Association 10.3168/jds.2012-5727

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In addition to plasma metabolites and hormones participating as humoral signals in the control of feed intake, oxidative metabolic processes in peripheral organs also generate signals to terminate feeding. Although the degree of oxidation over longer periods is relatively constant, recent work suggests that the periprandial pattern of fuel oxidation is involved in regulating feeding behavior in the bovine. However, the association between periprandial oxidative metabolism and feed intake of dairy cows has not yet been studied. Therefore, the aim of this study was to elucidate possible associations existing between single feed intake events and whole-body net fat and net carbohydrate oxidation as well as their relation to plasma metabolite concentrations. To this end, 4 late-lactating cows equipped with jugular catheters were kept in respiratory chambers with continuous and simultaneous recording of gas exchange and feed intake. Animals were fed ad libitum (AL) for 24h and then feed restricted (RE) to 50% of the previous AL intake for a further 24h. Blood samples were collected hourly to analyze β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), glucose, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), insulin, and acylated ghrelin concentrations. Cross-correlation analysis revealed an offset ranging between 30 and 42 min between the maximum of a feed intake event and the lowest level of postprandial net fat oxidation (FOX(net)) and the maximum level of postprandial net carbohydrate oxidation (COX(net)), respectively. During the AL period, FOX(net) did not increase above -0.2g/min, whereas COX(net) did not decrease below 6g/min before the start of the next feed intake event. A strong inverse cross-correlation was obtained between COX(net) and plasma glucose concentration. Direct cross-correlations were observed between COXnet and insulin, between heat production and BHBA, between insulin and glucose, and between BHBA and ghrelin. We found no cross-correlation between FOX(net) and NEFA. During RE, FOX(net) increased with an exponential slope, exceeded the threshold of -0.2g/min as indicated by increasing plasma NEFA concentrations, and approached a maximum rate of 0.1g/min, whereas COX(net) decayed in an exponential manner, approaching a minimal COX(net) rate of about 2.5 g/min in all cows. Our novel findings suggest that, in late-lactating cows, postprandial increases in metabolic oxidative processes seem to signal suppression of feed intake, whereas preprandially an accelerated FOX(net) rate and a decelerated COX(net) rate initiate feed intake.

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


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




American Dairy Science Association




Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

28 Jul 2014 15:47

Last Modified:

01 Jan 2015 09:15

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

energy expenditure, ghrelin, insulin, feed intake control




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