Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Nutrition, Growth and Physiology » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403392

Research Project: Optimizing Nutrient Management and Efficiency of Beef Cattle and Swine

Location: Nutrition, Growth and Physiology

Title: Supplementation of one-carbon metabolites to beef heifers during early gestation increases fetal organ weight and prioritizes organ development at day 161 of gestation

item KING, LAYLA - North Dakota State University
item SYRING, JESSICA - North Dakota State University
item ENTZIE, YSSI - North Dakota State University
item ANAS, MUHAMMAD - North Dakota State University
item DANESHI, MOJTABA - North Dakota State University
item HIRCHERT, MARA - North Dakota State University
item Crouse, Matthew
item WARD, ALISON - University Of Saskatchewan
item DAHLEN, CARL - North Dakota State University
item CATON, JOEL - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We hypothesized that low maternal plane of nutrition would impair fetal growth, and that supplementation of one-carbon metabolites (OCM) in early gestation would rescue this growth. Angus-cross heifers were individually fed using a Calan gate system and bred with female-sexed semen from a single sire. At breeding, heifers were assigned to treatments (n = 8 per treatment) in a 2 × 2 factorial design with main effects of Gain (control: 0.45 kg/d [CON]; or restricted: -0.23 kg/d [RES]) and OCM (received OCM [+OCM]; or no OCM [-OCM]). Resultant treatment combinations were CON-OCM, CON+OCM, RES-OCM, and RES+OCM. The OCM supplement was given from d 0 to 63 and consisted of ruminal-protected choline (60 g/d) and methionine (10 g/d) in a corn carrier fed daily, and weekly injections of folate (320 mg) and vitamin B12 (20 mg). The -OCM heifers received the corn carrier and saline injections. From d 64 to 161 all heifers were managed on CON and received no supplementation. Fetal tissues were collected on d 161. Data were evaluated unadjusted and allometrically, where organ weights were normalized to brain weight, and were analyzed using the MIXED procedures of SAS for main effects of gain, OCM, and their interaction. Trachea was heavier (P = 0.04) and spleen was lighter (P = 0.05) in fetuses from +OCM than -OCM. Right hindlimb muscle was influenced by a gain × OCM interaction (P = 0.04), where RES+OCM was heavier than CON+OCM. With allometric adjustments, right longissimus dorsi, rumen complex, and liver were heavier (P <= 0.05) in RES compared with CON. These data suggest that providing OCM during early gestation may rescue skeletal muscle tissue growth in nutrient restricted offspring, and that restricting nutrients to dams results in prioritization of allometric growth of critical fetal organs such as liver and lungs. Supplementation with OCM did not rescue all organ growth, but alterations in muscle and metabolic organ weight observed could have lasting postnatal implications.