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Genetic merit for fertility traits in Holstein cows: III. Hepatic expression of somatotropic axis genes during pregnancy and lactation

Cummins, S.B., Waters, S.M., Evans, A.C.O., Lonergan, P., Butler, S.T.
Journal of dairy science 2012 v.95 no.7 pp. 3711-3721
Holstein, bioavailability, biopsy, cows, cytokines, gene expression, genes, genetic merit, genotype, insulin-like growth factor I, insulin-like growth factor binding proteins, lactation, liver, messenger RNA, milk production, pregnancy, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, somatotropin receptors, transcription factors, tyrosine
The objective of this study was to characterize the circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and the hepatic expression of key genes regulating the somatotropic axis in cows divergent in genetic merit for fertility traits but with similar genetic merit for milk production traits. A total of 11 cows with good genetic merit for fertility (Fert+) and 12 cows with poor genetic merit for fertility (Fert−) underwent liver biopsy by percutaneous punch technique on d 20 (±6.7 d) prepartum and on d 2 (±1.5 d), d 58 (±3.7 d), d 145 (±13 d), and d 245 (±17.1 d) postpartum. Total RNA was isolated and the mRNA expression of growth hormone receptor (GHR 1A and GHRtot), IGF-I, janus tyrosine kinase 2 (JAK2), signal transducer and activator of transcription 5B (STAT5B), suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS-3), acid-labile subunit (ALS), and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP1 to IGFBP6) were measured by real-time quantitative PCR. During lactation, the circulating concentrations of IGF-I were 34% greater in Fert+ cows. The Fert+ cows had increased mean expression of IGF-I mRNA during the study; however, the difference in IGF-I mRNA abundance between Fert+ and Fert− cows was most pronounced at d 145 and 245. The expression of IGFBP3 and ALS transcript was similar in Fert+ and Fert− cows for the duration of the study. The Fert− cows, however, had greater expression of IGFBP2, IGFBP4, IGFBP5, and IGFBP6. Genotype had no effect on mRNA abundance of GHR 1A, STAT5B, JAK2, or SOCS-3. Genetic merit for fertility traits affects hepatic expression of key genes of the somatotropic axis regulating the synthesis, bioavailability, and stability of circulating IGF-I.