Patterns of Nutrient Uptake by the Mammary Glands of Lactating Dairy Cows

P. S. Miller, B. L. Reis, C. C. Calvert, E. J. DePeters, R. L. Baldwin

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77 Scopus citations


Twenty-one multiparous lactating dairy cows with previous 305-d milk production records varying from 5900 to 13,600 kg were used to examine patterns of nutrient uptake by the mammary glands. On d 71 and continuing until d 126 of lactation, animals were injected daily with 40 mg of sometribove (bST group) or bicarbonate buffer (control group). Arterial and venous blood plasma samples were collected over a 12-h period on d 35, 70, 105, and 126 of lactation. Regression equations developed to evaluate linear effects of plasma arterial concentrations on net arterial-venous difference across the mammary glands demonstrated that, for acetate, NEFA, and D-β-hydroxybutyrate, plasma arterial concentration accounted for over 50% of variation in uptake by the mammary glands. Additionally, a sigmoidal equation fitted the relationship between D-β-hydroxybutyrate plasma arterial concentration and mammary gland uptake (r2 = .70). Triacylglyceride concentration was less effective in predicting uptake (r2 = .25). Administration of bST did not alter patterns of nutrient uptake, but a fourfold increase in NEFA uptake was predicted for bST-treated cows from this study, using NEFA concentrations from the literature. These observations indicate that plasma concentrations of acetate, NEFA, D-β-hydroxybutyrate, and triacylglyceride are major determinants of uptake by the mammary glands. Factors other than plasma concentration, such as mammary gland biosynthetic capacity, availability of other nutrients, and blood flow, determine uptakes of glucose, lactate, and total and free cholesterol (r2 ≤ .03).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3791-3799
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • AVD
  • CoA
  • D-β-hydroxybutyrate
  • K
  • PAC
  • T
  • TAG
  • V
  • arterial-venous difference
  • coenzyme A
  • dairy cow
  • free cholesterol
  • mammary glands
  • nutrient uptake
  • plasma arterial concentration
  • sigmoidicity parameter
  • theoretical estimate for maximum AVD at infinite βHBA PAC
  • total cholesterol
  • triacylglyceride
  • βHBA
  • βHBA PAC at which one-half V is obtained

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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