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Vet Clin Pathol. 2013 Mar;42(1):70-7. doi: 10.1111/vcp.12022.

Peripartal alterations of calcitonin gene-related peptide and minerals in dairy cows affected by milk fever.

Author information

1
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada,

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Milk fever, a metabolic disease of dairy cattle, is associated with perturbations of calcium homeostasis, the pathogenesis of which is not yet completely understood.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to investigate plasma concentrations of calcitonin gene-related peptide and selected minerals and metabolites in periparturient cows with and without milk fever.

METHODS:

Plasma concentrations of calcitonin gene-related peptide, as well as calcium, phosphate, magnesium, iron, glucose, lactate, and cortisol, were determined in multiple plasma samples from Jersey cows with and without spontaneous milk fever.

RESULTS:

Cows affected by milk fever (n = 5) had lower concentrations of calcitonin gene-related peptide (P = .038) and inorganic phosphate (P < .001) in plasma than did the controls (n = 5). Also, these cows tended to have lower calcium concentrations (P = .071). Magnesium, iron, lactate, glucose, and cortisol concentrations were comparable between both groups of cows (P > .10). Around the day of calving, plasma concentrations of lactate, glucose, and cortisol increased and the concentration of iron decreased in all cows (P ≤ .01).

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite the limited number of cows evaluated, this report is the first to indicate lowered concentrations of calcitonin gene-related peptide as part of the metabolic changes during milk fever in cows. Further work with a larger cohort of animals is warranted to understand the precise role of calcitonin gene-related peptide and the potential associations with disturbances in plasma minerals typically observed during milk fever.

PMID:
23458656
DOI:
10.1111/vcp.12022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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