Institute for Organic Farming and Biodiversity

Wels, Austria

Institute for Organic Farming and Biodiversity

Wels, Austria

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Klevenhusen F.,Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds | Hollmann M.,Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds | Podstatzky-Lichtenstein L.,Institute for Organic Farming and Biodiversity | Aschenbach J.R.,Free University of Berlin | Zebeli Q.,Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

High-producing ruminants are commonly fed large amounts of concentrate to meet their high energy demands for rapid growth or high milk production. However, this feeding strategy can severely impair rumen functioning, leading to subacute ruminal acidosis. Subacute ruminal acidosis might have consequences for electrophysiological properties by changing the net ion transfer and permeability of ruminal epithelia, which may increase the uptake of toxic compounds generated in the rumen into the systemic circulation. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of excessive barley feeding on the electrophysiological and barrier functions of the ruminal epithelium and serum inflammation and ketogenesis markers after a long-term feeding challenge, using growing goats as a ruminant model. A feeding trial was carried out with growing goats allocated to 1 of the 3 groups (n = 5-6 animals/group), with diets consisting exclusively of hay (control diet) or hay with 30 or 60% barley grain. Samples of the ventral ruminal epithelium were taken after euthanasia and instantly subjected to Ussing chamber experiments, where electrophysiological properties of the epithelium were measured in parallel with the permeability of marker molecules of different sizes [fluorescein 5(6)-isothiocyanate and horseradish peroxidase] from luminal to apical side. Additionally, ruminal fluid and blood samples were taken at the beginning of the experiment as well as shortly before euthanasia. Ruminal fluid samples were analyzed for volatile fatty acids and pH, whereas blood samples were analyzed for lipopolysaccharide, serum amyloid A, and β-hydroxybutyrate. Electrophysiological data indicated that barley feeding increased the epithelial short-circuit current compared with the control. Tissue conductance also increased with dietary barley inclusion. As shown with both marker molecules, permeability of ruminal epithelia increased with barley inclusion in the diet. Despite a lowered ruminal pH associated with increased volatile fatty acids (such as propionate and butyrate) concentrations as well as altered epithelial properties in response to high-grain feeding, no signs of inflammation became apparent, as blood serum amyloid A concentrations remained unaffected by diet. However, greater amounts of grain in the diet were associated with a quadratic increase in lipopolysaccharide concentration in the serum. Also, increasing the amounts of barley grain in the diet resulted in a tendency to quadratically augment serum concentrations of β-hydroxybutyrate and, hence, the alimentary ketogenesis. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of barley inclusion in the development of subacute ruminal acidosis in relation to ruminal epithelial damage and the translocation of toxic compounds in vivo. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.


Metzler-Zebeli B.U.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Schmitz-Esser S.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Klevenhusen F.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Podstatzky-Lichtenstein L.,Institute for Organic Farming and Biodiversity | And 2 more authors.
Anaerobe | Year: 2013

High grain feeding has been associated with ruminal pH depression and microbial dysbiosis in cattle. Yet, the impact of high grain feeding on the caprine rumen and hindgut microbial community and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) release is largely unknown. Therefore, the objective was to investigate the effect of increasing dietary levels of barley grain on the microbial composition and LPS concentrations in the rumen and colon of goats. Effects were compared with respect to the responses of ruminal and colonic pH and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) generation. Growing goats (. n = 5-6) were fed diets containing 0, 30, or 60% coarsely ground barley grain for 6 weeks. Ruminal ciliate protozoa were counted with Bürker counting chamber, and quantitative PCR was used to compare bacterial populations. Increasing dietary grain level linearly increased (. P < 0.05) ruminal numbers of entodiniomorphids. With the 60% grain diet, there was a reduction in ruminal abundance of the genus Prevotella and Fibrobacter succinogenes, whereas the ruminal abundance of Lactobacillus spp. increased compared to the 0 and 30% grain diets (. P < 0.05). In the colon, abundance of the genus Prevotella and F. succinogenes increased (. P < 0.05) in goats fed the 60% grain diet compared to those fed the other diets. Colonic abundance of Clostridium cluster I was related to the presence of grain in the diet. Ruminal LPS concentration decreased (. P < 0.05) in response to the 60% grain diet, whereas its colonic concentration increased in response to the same diet (. P < 0.05). Present results provide first insight on the adaptive response of rumen protozoa and rumen and colonic bacterial populations to increasing dietary levels of grain in goats. Although luminal pH largely affects microbial populations, fermentable substrate flow to the caprine hindgut may have played a greater role for colonic bacterial populations in the present study. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Metzler-Zebeli B.U.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Hollmann M.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Sabitzer S.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Podstatzky-Lichtenstein L.,Institute for Organic Farming and Biodiversity | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2013

Emerging evidence at the mRNA level indicates that feeding high-grain diets to ruminants leads to coordinated changes in the molecular response of the rumen epithelium. Yet, epithelial adaptation of the hindgut to increasing dietary grain levels has not been established in ruminants. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize alterations in mRNA expression associated with nutrient transport and electrochemical gradients in rumen and colon epithelium, and rumen morphology in growing goats fed different grain levels. Goats (n = 6) were fed diets with increasing levels of 0, 30, or 60% barley grain for 6 wk. Goats were euthanized 2 h after their last feeding, and digesta and tissue samples of the cranial part of the ventral rumen and proximal colon were collected. Goats fed the 60% grain diet exhibited a lower ruminal and colonic pH (P < 0.01) and a greater colonic total VFA concentration (P < 0.05) compared with those fed the 0 and 30% grain diets. As response to the decreased ruminal pH, goats fed the 60% grain diet had a greater (P < 0.05) keratinization and thicker stratum corneum of the rumen epithelium than goats fed the 0 and 30% grain diets. The 60% grain diet upregulated (P < 0.05) MCT1 expression by 45% and downregulated (P < 0.05) the expression of MCT4 and SGLT1 by 28 and 50%, respectively, in rumen epithelium compared with the 0 and 30% grain diets. Accordingly, goats fed the 60% grain diet had a greater (P < 0.05) expression of MCT1 and ATP1A1 in colon epithelium than goats fed the 0 and 30% grain diets. Regression analyses showed negative relationships (R2 = 0.35 to 0.87, P < 0.05) of MCT1 and ATP1A1 expression in rumen and colon epithelium and thickening of ruminal stratum corneum to decreasing luminal pH values, suggesting greater mRNA expression at lower pH. In contrast, MCT4 expression in rumen epithelium positively correlated to luminal pH (R2 = 0.95, P < 0.01). In conclusion, results of this model study indicated that with the greatest grain level rumen and colon molecular epithelial responses may have been related to counteract the consequences of luminal acidification on intracellular homeostasis in epithelial cells and concomitantly to increase systemic absorption of VFA. © 2013 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

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