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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #212949

Title: The Effects of Maternal Natural Source Vitamin E Supplementation on Suckling Calf Immune Function

item LAKE, S
item Eicher, Susan
item PYATT, N

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/30/2007
Publication Date: 7/30/2007
Citation: M. Richardson, S. Lake, S.D. Eicher, R. Lemenoger, and N. Pyatt. 2007. Title Journal of Animal Science

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of maternal supplementation of a natural-source vitamin E (NSVE) and a commercially available mixture containing NSVE on suckling calf immune response. Eighty Angus beef cows (initial BW = 608 kg; initial BCS = 5.9) were randomly assigned to one of three isocaloric dietary treatments: 1) corn-based supplement with no added vitamins or minerals (CON), 2) corn-based supplement containing 1000 IU NSVE/d (VITE), and 3) corn-based supplement containing a commercially available mixture formulated to contain 1000 IU of NSVE/d (VITE+). Supplementation began 3 wks prepartum and continued through wk 8 of lactation. Blood was collected from calves at 24 h for analysis of IgG concentration as an indicator of passive transfer. At 19 d of age, blood was collected from calves to determine the presence of CD14 and CD18 receptors on antigen presenting cells. At 25 and 40 d of age, calves were injected with hen egg albumin (OVA) and bled weekly until d 60 of age to determine total antibodies produced to OVA. Maternal NSVE supplementation did not influence (P > 0.05) calf ADG or 24 h IgG levels. Calves suckling VITE and VITE+ dams tended to have greater (P = 0.19) CD14 levels than CON calves while CD18 tended to be greater (P = 0.18) in VITE+ than VITE and CON calves. A treatment × day interaction (P < 0.001) was detected for total antibodies produced to OVA. Total antibodies produced at d 14 tended to be greater (P = 0.06) in VITE+ than CON calves, indicating an accelerated response time to the OVA challenge; however, VITE calves had greater (P = 0.05) antibody production to OVA at d 28 than CON calves. In conclusion, maternal NSVE supplementation appeared to improve immune function in suckling calves with an increase in total antibodies produced at d 14 and 28 and tended to increase CD14 and 18 receptors; however, calf performance was not affected.