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Peter Kappel Theil

Mammary remodeling in primiparous and multiparous dairy goats during lactation

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  • Sina Safayi, Denmark
  • Peter Kappel Theil
  • Vibeke Sødring Elbrønd, Denmark
  • Lei Hou, Denmark
  • Marie Engbæk, Denmark
  • Jan Værum Nørgaard
  • Kristen Sejrsen, Denmark
  • Mette Benedicte Olaf Nielsen, Denmark
  • Fakultetssekretariat - administration
  • Nutrition and Production Physiology
  • Animal nutrition and environmental impact
  • Disease Mechanisms, -Markers and -Prevention
  • Department of Animal Health and Bioscience
Milk production is generally lower but lactation persistency higher in primiparous (PP) than in multiparous (MP) goats. This may be related to differences in development and maintenance of mammary gland function, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. The present study aimed to elucidate whether differences in lactational performance between PP and MP mammary glands are related to the time course of development and maintenance, not only of the mammary epithelial cell (MEC) population, but also of the mammary vasculature that sustains synthetic activity. Mammary biopsies were obtained from both mammary glands of 3 PP and 6 MP (≥2 parity) dairy goats at parturition (d 1), d 10, 60, and 180 of lactation. Gene transcription relating to MEC turnover and vascular function was quantified by real-time reverse transcription-PCR, mammary morphology was characterized (quantitative histology), and cell turnover was determined (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling assay and Ki-67). Primiparous glands showed higher expression for the genes involved in angiogenesis; namely, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, and angiopoietin 1 and 2 and their receptor, a few days after parturition (d 10). Primiparous glands also had higher rates of MEC proliferation in early lactation. It therefore appears that initiation of lactation is associated with development and growth of the mammary gland into early lactation, which continues for a longer period in PP compared with MP glands. In addition, MEC survival was found to be higher in PP glands throughout lactation, and MEC in PP glands underwent more extensive differentiation. This could explain the reported flatter lactation curve and higher lactation persistency in PP glands. Although some of the genes included in this study were differentially expressed in PP and MP glands during the course of lactation, it was not possible to identify any specific genomic factor(s) that could account for the differences between PP and MP glands with respect to mammary development and MEC survival during lactation. It remains to be established why parity number affects MEC and vascular development and survival during lactation, and, in particular, which regulatory mechanisms are involved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Pages (from-to)1478-1490
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • primiparous, cell turnover, angiogenesis, multiparous

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