Main content area

Effects of auditory and visual stimuli on glucose metabolism in Holstein dairy cattle

González-Grajales, Leslie Antonio, Pieper, Laura, Görner, Philipp, Görner, Stefan, Staufenbiel, Rudolf
Acta veterinaria scandinavica 2019 v.61 no.1 pp. 2
Holstein, acute exposure, bulls, dairy cattle, glucose, glucose tolerance tests, half life, heifers, insulin, insulin secretion, metabolism, music, noise pollution, steers
BACKGROUND: Standardization of the intravenous glucose tolerance test (ivGTT) in cattle has received little attention despite its widespread use to monitor glucose metabolism. The impact of management practices including several sensorial stimuli on test responses has not yet been described in young cattle. The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of noise exposure, and visual food stimuli in combination with physical restraint on ivGTT and insulin traits in Holstein cattle. A total of 108 ivGTT (6 tests per animal) were performed in bulls (n = 6), steers (n = 6), and heifers (n = 6) aged 312 to 344 days. The main parameters analyzed for glucose and insulin included: basal concentration (G0, Ins0), maximum concentration (GMAX, InsMAX), and final concentration at 63 min (G63, Ins63), glucose and insulin area under the curve (GAUC, InsAUC), and glucose half-life time (GHLT). Noise stimuli were induced by playing rock music at approximately 90 dB either before (NI) or immediately after glucose injection (NII). Visual food stimuli were induced by feeding the neighboring animals while the tested animal was restrained in a headlock. RESULTS: Almost all glucose and insulin traits were affected by gender (P< 0.05) whereas the factor with least impact on ivGTT was NI. InsMAX and InsAUC were affected (P < 0.002) by all factors analyzed. GHLT and G63 were affected by gender and noise with higher values in bulls when compared to steers and heifers. Furthermore, InsAUC and InsMAX values derived from NII significantly differed in bulls when compared to steers and heifers. Significantly higher values for G0 (P < 0.001), InsMAX (P < 0.001) and InsAUC (P = 0.001) were observed when exposed to the visual food stimulus whereas GMAX (P = 0.02) and GAUC (P = 0.04) decreased. Higher Ins63 values were observed in bulls exposed to the visual food stimulus when compared to heifers. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term exposure to noise and visual food stimuli might lead to variations in glucose metabolism and insulin secretion which emphasizes the necessity to avoid practices involving auditory or visual stimuli prior to or during the conduction of an ivGTT.