Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Involvement of plasma adipokines in metabolic and reproductive parameters in Holstein dairy cows fed with diets with differing energy levels

Mellouk, N.; Rame, C.; Touze, J. L.; Briant, E.; Ma, L.; Guillaume, D.; Lomet, D.; Caraty, A.; Ntallaris, T.; Humblot, P.; Dupont, J.


This study aimed to investigate the association between plasma adipokine concentrations and metabolic and reproductive parameters in Holstein dairy cows fed diets with different energy levels during the peripartum period. The experiment started 1 mo before first calving and was maintained for 2 lactations. Dry matter intake and energy balance in animals fed a low energy (LE) diet were significantly lower than that of animals fed a high-energy (HE) diet in the first lactation. Body weight, milk production, back fat thickness, and plasma concentrations of fatty acids, glucose, and insulin were not affected by diet, whereas plasma leptin and adiponectin concentrations were lower and plasma resistin concentrations higher in animals fed the LE diet. Unlike concentrations of adiponectin, plasma resistin concentrations were positively correlated with back fat thickness and plasma fatty acids concentrations and negatively correlated with dry matter intake and plasma leptin concentrations. No effect of diet was found on reproductive variables; that is, pregnancy rates at 35 or 90 d after artificial insemination (AI); numbers of small (3-5 mm), medium (> 5 and <= 7 mm), and large (> 7 mm) follicles; calving-to-AI and calving-to-calving intervals; and magnitude and duration of the LH surge. However, the commencement of luteal activity after first calving occurred sooner and the frequency of LH pulses was higher in the HE group than in the LE group. A significant positive correlation was found between the number of follicles (of any size) and the area under the curve of plasma resistin concentrations. The number of small follicles was also positively correlated with the nadir of plasma resistin concentrations. Taken together, these results suggest that dietary energy content in the range applied here can alter the resumption of ovarian activity and LH pulsatility without affecting fat mobilization. Plasma adipokine profiles (leptin, resistin, and adiponectin) were significantly altered by diet and negative energy balance but relationships with reproductive variables were limited to follicular growth characteristics and plasma resistin concentrations.


diet; metabolism; adipokines; fertility

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2017, Volume: 100, number: 10, pages: 8518-8533