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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317461

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

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Title: Cattle temperament influences metabolism: 1. Metabolic response to a glucose tolerance test in beef steers

Author
item Sanchez, Nicole
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item Broadway, Paul
item Hughes, Heather - West Texas A & M University
item Roberts, Shelby - West Texas A & M University
item Richeson, John - West Texas A & M University
item Schmidt, Ty - University Of Nebraska
item Vann, Rhonda - Mississippi State University

Submitted to: Domestic Animal Endocrinology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/2016
Publication Date: 4/1/2016
Citation: Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A., Broadway, P.R., Hughes, H.D., Roberts, S.L., Richeson, J.T., Schmidt, T.B., Vann, R.C. 2016. Cattle temperament influences metabolism: 1. Metabolic response to a glucose tolerance test in beef steers. Domestic Animal Endocrinology. 56:85-95.

Interpretive Summary: Temperamental cattle are behaviorally, physiologically, and immunologically different in comparison to calm cattle. Recently, the metabolic differences between temperamental and calm cattle have begun to be explored. Specifically, temperamental cattle maintain greater circulating concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids when compared to calm cattle, which is believe to alter other metabolic parameters including glucose and insulin regulation. Therefore, this study was designed to determine whether cattle temperament would influence the metabolic responses of steers to a glucose tolerance test. The results from this study demonstrate that differences exist in the manner that temperamental steers respond to glucose and insulin. Specifically, temperamental steers had an increased glucose response yet a decreased insulin response to a glucose tolerance test, which resulted in decreased insulin sensitivity in the temperamental cattle compared to calm cattle. Additionally, temperamental steers maintained greater non-esterified fatty acid and decreased blood urea nitrogen concentrations compared to calm cattle. Further research is necessary to elucidate the mechanisms behind the elevations in non-esterified fatty acids and the decreased insulin sensitivity observed in Temperamental steers.

Technical Abstract: Temperamental cattle are behaviorally, physiologically, and immunologically different in comparison to calm cattle. Recently, the metabolic differences between temperamental and calm cattle have begun to be explored; temperamental cattle maintain greater circulating concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) when compared to calm cattle, which may influence other metabolic parameters including glucose and insulin regulation, and homeostasis. The objective of this study was to determine whether cattle temperament would influence the metabolic responses of steers to a glucose tolerance test (GTT). Angus-cross steers (16 Calm and 15 Temperamental; 216 +/- 6 kg body weight) were selected based on Temperament Score measured at weaning. On day 1, steers were moved into indoor stanchions to allow measurement of individual ad libitum feed intake. On day 6, steers were fitted with indwelling rectal temperature probes and jugular catheters. At 9 am on day 7, steers received the GTT (0.5 mL/kg body weight of a 50% dextrose solution). Blood samples were collected and serum isolated at 10, 15 and 30-min intervals from -60 to 150 min relative to the GTT. Serum was stored at -80C until analyzed for cortisol, glucose, NEFA, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentrations. All variables changed over time (P < 0.01). For the duration of the study, Temperamental steers maintained greater (P < 0.01) NEFA, decreased (P = 0.01) BUN, and decreased insulin sensitivity (calculated using RQUICKI) compared to Calm steers. During the GTT, Temperamental steers had greater (P < 0.01) glucose, decreased (P = 0.03) insulin, and had greater (P = 0.03) glucose disappearance, yet decreased (P < 0.01) insulin: glucose. These data demonstrate that differences exist in the manner in which Temperamental steers respond to glucose and insulin, which may result in changes in utilization and redistribution of energy in Temperamental versus Calm cattle.