Response of nitrogen metabolism in preparturient dairy cows to methionine supplementation

A. Bach, G. B. Huntington, M. D. Stern

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22 Scopus citations


Three multiparous Holstein cows (607 kg of BW) were surgically prepared with an elevated carotid artery and indwelling catheters in the hepatic, portal, and two mesenteric veins to study the effects of methionine supplementation on amino acid metabolism during the last 2 wk of pregnancy. The study began 15 d before the expected calving date. Dietary treatments were Control (1.53 Meal NE1/kg, 15.6% CP, and 40% ruminally undegradable protein) and Control supplemented with 60 g/d of ruminally protected methionine (MET, supplying 39 g/d of DL-methionine and approximately 18 g/d of methionine available for intestinal absorption). Each cow received both dietary treatments in a crossover design. Cows were fed once daily. After 5 d on treatment, a blood flow marker (para-aminohippurate) was infused into a mesenteric vein, and arterial, portal, and hepatic blood samples were obtained at 0, 2, 6, 12, and 18 h after feeding. Net flux of methionine was calculated as the plasma arteriovenous difference multiplied by plasma flow. Dry matter intake (10.8 kg/d) and portal (824 L/h) and hepatic (995 L/h) plasma flows were not affected (P > .10) by treatment. Arterial plasma concentration of methionine was greater (P = .10) with MET (27.67 μM) than with Control (16.42 μM). Net portal absorption of methionine increased (P = .10) with MET (26.2 g/d) compared with Control (9.5 g/d). The net portal methionine flux was negatively correlated (r = -.59; P < .001) with arterial urea concentrations. Net flux of methionine across splanchnic tissues shifted (P = .06) from a net uptake with Control (4 g/d) to a net output with MET (11 g/d). Therefore, MET increased by 15 g/d the methionine supply to the rest of the body. The net uptake of methionine by splanchnic tissues observed with Control indicated a net mobilization of methionine by peripheral tissues. Results indicate that methionine was the limiting amino acid with Control and that MET was beneficial because it increased methionine supply to peripheral tissues and reduced arterial urea concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-749
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Amino Acids
  • Blood Plasma
  • Cattle
  • Metabolism
  • Pregnancy

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