Serum protein profile of Holstein cows during the transition period
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The aim of this study was to evaluate longitudinally the serum protein profile of 13 Holstein cows during the transition period. Blood samples (n=78) were taken weekly, from the second week before parturition (M-2) to the third week after parturition (M3) for determination of serum protein profile by biochemical tests (total serum protein - PT) and SDS-PAGE electrophoresis, for the other proteins analyzed. PT values decreased gradually (P = 0.000) from M-2 (6.4g/dL) to M0 (6.2g/dL), increasing in subsequent moments (M3 = 7.3g/dL). The concentrations of the heavy chain (M-2=919.4; M-1=1074.5mg/dL) and the light chain of IgG (M-2=393.9; M-1=466.7mg/dL) were lower in pre-calving compared to post calving (M1=1,283.3; M2=1,374.2 and M3=1,630.3 mg/dL for the heavy chain, and M1=463.4; M2=573.7 and M3=651,8 mg/dL for the light chain of IgG). For IgA there was a decrease in the values (P=0.001), from M-2 (51.9mg/dL) to M1 (34.0mg/dL), and increase in M2 (45,4g/dL) and M3 (62,6g/dL). The values of haptoglobin (Hp) and ceruloplasmin (Cp) increased (P=0,000) from M-2 (Hp=16.6mg/dL; Cp=8.6 mg/dL) to M3 (Hp=60.9mg/dL; Cp=127.1mg/dl). Albumin showed slight variations during the transition period (P=0.000), while the serum transferrin (P=0.101) and acid glycoprotein (P=0.105) were stable. Body condition score (BCS) was also analyzed during the transition period, checking the difference (P=0.003) between M-2 (ECC=4.0) and M1 (ECC=3.0). It was also reported the occurrence of dystocia (4/13), retained placenta (1/13) and hypocalcemia (1/13) on the day of calving (M0) and uterine infections (5/13) and ketosis (1/13) occurring in the post calving. In conclusion, there was an increase in serum Hp and Cp, and a decrease in the immunoglobulins and transferrin amounts in Holstein cows during the transition period, related to diseases occurring during this period and the high BCS, promoting metabolic changes and immunosuppression.