Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 31, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This paper describes the use of an isolated cell system for the study of the ruminal epithelium. The rumen epithelium is the tissue which lines the rumen, the enlarged fore-gut in cattle, which is responsible for the absorption of nutrients. Research studies are described which investigated the rumen epithelium during different stages of development and when the sheep or cattle had been fed different types of diets. The results of these studies suggest that the ruminal epithelium changes its metabolism during development and may change when the animal is fed different diets. In summary, the paper concludes that the use of isolated cells is advantageous and more research will be conducted using this type of approach.
The study of rumen epithelial metabolism during development can aid in the development of feeding strategies for developing pre-ruminant animals and mature animals. Understanding the impact of diet physical form and nutrient composition with the ruminal epithelium will lead to changes in dietary regimes that exploit beneficial tissue responses. Characterization of the ontogenic shifts in ruminal metabolism, in association with the description of physical changes, has established more discrete periods during the development of the ruminal epithelium for future studies to be conducted. Isolated ruminal epithelial cells have been utilized for metabolic studies of tissue energy metabolism. Because the ruminal epithelium is a major producer of ketone bodies in the fed ruminant animal, it is integral to the energy metabolism of the whole animal. Arguably, whole tissue slices may provide better estimations of actual tissue performance, however, the benefits gained are offset because of the high variability tissue composition. Therefore, although the ruminal cell isolation system is continuously undergoing refinements, enriched cell cultures have provided realistic results with respect to known responses in vivo.