Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 21, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Milk fever is a disease which affects 8 to 10% of the dairy cows in the US, which means that ~800,000 cows are affected each year. The combined direct and indirect costs of a milk fever episode are estimated to exceed $300 per cow. Our research group's mission is to perform basic and applied research aimed at reducing productivity losses and complications that necessitate further treatment of these animals with antibiotics and drugs which we would like to avoid. The vitamin D receptor plays a pivotal role in milk fever prevention. Therefore, a basic understanding of its function is necessary to understand milk fever. In the present study, we cloned and sequenced the bovine vitamin D receptor. We found that the bovine receptor is identical to the human receptor. Thus, numerous tools developed by human researchers can be used to study this receptor's function in the cow. Understanding the mechanism of action for the vitamin D receptor should help reduce the incidence of milk fever; thus saving dairy producers millions of dollars. The consumers are the eventual beneficiaries of this work, as they are further assured economical and wholesome products.
Technical Abstract: Mammary tissue was obtained, at necropsy, from a lactating Jersey cow. Total RNA was extracted from bovine mammary tissue and poly A selected (4). RNA products were inserted into phagemid vectors (pcDNA II) and transfected into Escherichia coli. Phagemid library was screened with a 1235 bp human VDR cDNA probe (2). Three positive clones were identified ranging in size from 1300 to 1990 bp.