Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #300022

Research Project: Improving Immunity, Health, and Well-Being in Cattle and Swine

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Title: Prenatal stress influences the insulin response to a glucose challenge in yearling Brahman heifers

Author
item Schmidt, Sarah - Texas A&M University
item Roberts, Meghan - Texas A&M University
item Price, Deborah - Texas A&M University
item Littlejohn, Brittani - Texas A&M University
item Vann, Rhonda - Mississippi State University
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item Sanchez, Nicole
item Neuendorff, Don - Texas A&M University
item Lewis, Andrew - Texas A&M University
item Welsh, Jr., Thomas - Texas A&M University
item Randel, Ronald - Texas A&M Agrilife

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/27/2013
Publication Date: 7/25/2014
Citation: Schmidt, S.M., Roberts, M.C., Price, D.P., Littlejohn, B.P., Vann, R.C., Carroll, J.A., Sanchez, N.C., Neuendorff, D.A., Lewis, A.W., Welsh, Jr., T.H., Randel, R.D. 2014. Prenatal stress influences the insulin response to a glucose challenge in yearling Brahman heifers. Journal of Animal Science Supplement. 92(E-Suppl. 1):12-13. (Abstract #32).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The effect of prenatal stress on postnatal glucose metabolism was studied in progeny of cows that did or did not experience a transportation event during gestation. Specifically, 12 prenatally stressed (dams transported for 2 hours on days 40, 60, 80, 120, and 140 of gestation) and 12 Control yearling heifers of similar body weight (211+/-4.4 kilograms) were balanced for temperament and subjected to an intravenous glucose tolerance test to compare insulin responsiveness and glucose clearance. The heifers were fitted with jugular vein cannulas and placed in individual stanchions. Following a 2-hour acclimation period, a 50% dextrose solution was administered to each heifer (0.5 mililiters/kilogram body weight). Blood samples were collected during the acclimation period, immediately prior to, and following the glucose challenge at intervals of 10 and 20 minutes. Serum concentrations of glucose and insulin were determined by enzymatic assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay, respectively. Repeated measures mixed models analyses were used to compare glucose and insulin concentrations and the ratio of insulin to glucose (IGR) over time. Prenatal treatment significantly affected concentrations of insulin (P=0.03), but not glucose concentrations (P=0.61), over time. Prenatal treatment also affected the IGR over time (P=0.01). Table 1 lists basal glucose and insulin concentrations, peak insulin concentration, the insulinogenic index (delta I/delta G) at 30 minute post-challenge, the time to peak insulin concentration, and the time to reach basal insulin and glucose concentrations. Prenatally stressed heifers were less insulin resistant than Control heifers. Prenatally stressed heifers had decreased insulin concentrations (P=0.03) and returned to basal glucose and insulin concentrations earlier following the glucose challenge (P<0.01). These data suggest that prenatal stress enhances insulin sensitivity in Brahman calves.