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NutriPhysioGenomics applications to identify adaptations of cattle to consumption of ergot alkaloids and inorganic versus organic forms of selenium: altered nutritional, physiological and health states?

Matthews, J. C., Bridges, P. J.
Animal production science 2014 v.54 no.10 pp. 1594-1604
Festuca arundinacea, adenosine triphosphate, beef cattle, bioinformatics, biosynthesis, cattle production, cottonseed, diet, ergot, ergot alkaloids, fescue toxicosis, gene expression regulation, genes, grazing, heat stress, heifers, microarray technology, oxidative phosphorylation, pastures, prolactin, proline, pyruvic acid, ruminal acidosis, selenium, selenoproteins, serine, sodium selenite, steers, transcriptome, United States
NutriPhysioGenomics (NPG) seeks to measure nutrition-responsive genome expression during specific physiological states, thus defining how a given challenge alters the ‘basal’ transcriptome. Application of NGS regimens (transcriptome and bioinformatics analyses) in combination with targeted-gene approaches has revealed cellular mechanisms putatively responsible for complex, whole-animal, metabolic syndromes such as heat stress and subacute ruminal acidosis. Using similar approaches, our laboratory sought to understand how the basal physiology of developing cattle adapted to two prevalent health challenges of forage-based beef cattle production in south-eastern USA: fescue toxicosis and selenium (Se) deficiency. In Model 1, pituitary and hepatic genomic expression profiles of growing beef steers grazing high (E+, n = 9) versus low (E–, n = 10) endophyte-infected tall fescue pastures for 85 days, and consuming sodium selenite (ISe) as a free-choice Se supplement, were compared by a combination of microarray, bioinformatic, and targeted-gene/protein (real-time reverse transcription–PCR, Nanostring, immunoblot) analyses. In Model 2, hepatic genomic expression profiles of growing beef heifers (0.5 kg gain/day) fed a cotton seed hull-based diet and different sources (n = 9) of dietary Se (3 mg/day) supplements (no supplement, Control; inorganic Se, sodium selenite, ISe; organic Se, Sel-Plex; OSe), or a 1.5 mg:1.5 mg blend of ISe and OSe, MIX) were compared after 168 days of supplementation, as described for Model 1. The results for Model 1 showed, that in the pituitary of E+ steers, expression of genes for prolactin signalling; redox capacity; regulation of lactotroph, gonadotroph, and thyrotroph proliferation; gonadotropin-releasing hormone-mediated signalling; and Se-based metabolism was impaired. Concomitantly, the livers of E+ steers had an increased level of expression of genes encoding proteins responsible for shunting of amino acid carbons into pyruvate and ATP synthesis capacity (oxidative phosphorylation pathway, mitochondrial mass), increased serine and proline biosynthesis, and reduced selenoprotein-mediated metabolism. Result for Model 2 showed that, overall, there were clear differences in the profiles of differentially expressed genes (DEG) among the four Se treatment groups, with the form of Se administered being more reflective of DEG profiles than the total amount of Se assimilated. Moreover, hepatic transcriptomes profiles of MIX heifers revealed an increased potential for selenoprotein synthesis and selenoprotein-mediated metabolism. In addition, several genes involved with increased redox capacity were upregulated in MIX versus ISe heifers. Taken together, our NGS approach characterised adaptation to physiological challenges and, serendipitously, identified suppression of several metabolic pathways by consumption of ergot alkaloid consumption that have the potential to be increased with supplementation of the MIX form of Se.