Metabolomic profiles of colostrum and milk from lactating sows

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Survival and growth of sucklingpiglets is highly dependent on the nutrients, growthfactors, and protective components provided bysow colostrum and milk. The macrochemical compositionundergoes large alterations during thelactation period, but knowledge of the compositionand variation of low molecular weight metabolitesis presently lacking. Samples of colostrum at 0, 12,24, and 36 h and milk samples on Day 3, 10, 17,and 24 relative to farrowing were collected from 4s parity sows fed a standard lactation diet. Sampleswere analyzed using a nontargeted metabolomicsapproach. Sample preparation was done by eliminatingfat through centrifugation and precipitationof proteins with trichloracetic acid and acetonitrile.Metabolite profiles were obtained with an ESIQTOFmass spectrometer after separation on a C18column. Principal component analysis (PCA) wasused to observe data distribution and the variablesresponsible for separation. PCA revealed data clusteringaccording to sample type, with differencesobserved between colostrum and milk for both ionizationmodes. Positive ionization revealed a numberof highly influential metabolites, such as l-carnitine,acyl esters of carnitine (l-acetylcarnitine, 2-metylbutyroylcarnitine),glycerophosphocholine, andbetaine. l-Acetylcarnitine and 2-metylbutyroylcarnitine,involved in the metabolism and transport offatty acids, decreased in milk compared to colostrum,whereas l-carnitine presented an opposite trend (P< 0.05). Similarly, glycerophosphocholine and cholinedecreased from colostrum to milk, whereasbetaine showed higher values in milk compared tocolostrum. The use of liquid chromatography–massspectrometry metabolomics as a hypothesis generatortool opens up new questions with regard to theorigin and function of mammary gland metabolitesand the changes that occur during lactation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Pages (from-to)272-275
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2016

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