Metabolic characterization of rumen epithelial tissue from dairy calves fed different starter diets using 1H NMR spectroscopy

H.C. Bertram*, Niels Bastian Kristensen, M. Vestergaard, S.K. Jensen, J. Sehested, N.C. Nielsen, A. Malmendal

*Corresponding author

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The metabolic profile of calf rumen epithelial tissue was for the first time characterized by 1H NMR spectroscopy of chloroform/methanol extracts. The metabolite profiles comprised a number of amino acids, creatine, taurine, short-chain fatty acids and triglycerides. The effects of two dietary interventions; i) four levels of milk allowance with a concomitant different uptake of starter concentrate, and ii) two diets with varying content of starch and fibre in the concentrate, were elucidated. Partial least square regression analysis revealed that the intensity of NMR signals assigned to leucine, isoleucine and valine (0.90 \ppm), propionate (1.06 and 2.18 \ppm), lactate (1.32 \ppm), butyrate (1.56 \ppm), acetate (1.93 \ppm), glutamine/glutamate (2.18, 2.35 and 3.75 \ppm), creatine (3.04 and 3.94 \ppm) and glycine (3.55 \ppm) decreased with increasing milk allowance. In addition, the analysis revealed that the main difference between the two diets was the content of propionate in the epithelia tissue extracts. Previous morphological analyses of the same rumen epithelia were not able to detect any significant effects of either milk allowance or dietary starch content. Accordingly, the present study demonstrated that 1H NMR spectroscopy applied on extracts is a useful tool for metabolite profiling of epithelial tissue and for following the development of epithelia tissue in young calves, and that the technique may be more sensitive to dietary effects than morphological studies. textcopyright 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
TidsskriftLivestock Science
Udgave nummer1-2
Sider (fra-til)127-134
StatusUdgivet - 2009
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Cattle
  • Extracts
  • Metabonomics
  • Milk allowance
  • NMR
  • Short-chain fatty acids
  • Starch

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