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J Dairy Sci. 1985 Oct;68(10):2580-7.

Variations of 3-methylhistidine in blood of dairy cows.


Blood plasma 3-methylhistidine, in comparison with other blood variables, has been measured in high-yielding dairy cows with relation to energy and protein supply. Circulating 3-methylhistidine markedly increased to 1 wk after calving, then continuously decreased to 5 wk postpartum to lower than during the last 2 wk of pregnancy. In experiments 36 d after calving, circulating 3-methylhistidine did not change during 24 h despite marked variations of food intake. Peak 3-methylhistidine immediately after parturition coincided with relatively low insulin, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, glucose, protein, and urea with elevated concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids and with greatest estimated energy and protein deficiencies. However, during the ensuing period to 12 wk of lactation, circulating 3-methylhistidine was not closely related to these measures nor to creatinine, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and milk production, but relationships to milk protein yield were close. The postparturient increase of 3-methylhistidine may have been a consequence of enhanced breakdown of skeletal muscle and uterine smooth muscle or another pool with a transiently enhanced turnover rate. Variations of plasma 3-methylhistidine were associated only in part with estimated negative energy and protein balances and corresponding endocrine and metabolic adaptations.

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