Plasma γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Concentrations in Lactating Holstein Cows during Thermoneutral and Heat Stress Conditions and Their Relationships with Circulating Glucose, Insulin and Progesterone Levels

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2024-03-21
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MDPI
Abstract

Heat-stressed lactating dairy cattle exhibit unique metabolic symptoms, many of which are undoubtedly involved in heat-induced subfertility. Because of its known systemic effects, we hypothesized that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) participates in the regulation of insulin and progesterone during heat stress. Multiparous lactating Holstein cows (n = 6) were studied during four experimental periods: (1) thermoneutral (TN; d 1–5), (2) TN + hyperinsulinemic–hypoglycemic clamp (d 6–10), (3) heat stress (HS; d 16–20), and (4) HS + euglycemic clamp (d 21–25). Blood samples were collected once daily via coccygeal venipuncture into heparinized evacuated tubes. Analysis of GABA concentrations from all four treatment periods yielded no differences. In direct comparison to TN concentrations, plasma GABA tended to decrease during the HS period (16.57 ± 2.64 vs. 13.87 ± 2.28 ng/mL, respectively, p = 0.06). Both milk production and plasma insulin were moderately correlated with plasma GABA (r = 0.35, p < 0.01; r = −0.32, p < 0.01). Plasma progesterone was correlated with plasma GABA concentrations during TN but not HS periods. These results are the first to indicate that peripheral GABA could be involved in the regulation of factors known to affect production and reproduction during heat stress. More research is needed to determine its precise role(s).

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Arneson, A.G.; Stewart, J.W.; Byrd, M.H.; Perry, G.A.; Rhoads, M.L. Plasma &gamma;-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Concentrations in Lactating Holstein Cows during Thermoneutral and Heat Stress Conditions and Their Relationships with Circulating Glucose, Insulin and Progesterone Levels. Vet. Sci. 2024, 11, 137.