Impacts of time-fed concentrate-based diets on plasma metabolites, rumen histology, and mrna expression of hepatic enzymes of wethers

Ghazanfar A. Chishti, Isaac J. Salfer, Krum V. Nedelkov, Tara L. Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transition to grain increases inflammation and causes parakeratosis, which can decrease growth performance in fattening animals. It is unknown if ruminants adapt to these inflammatory responses over time. In a three-phase, 49-day experiment, all wethers (n = 13, BW = 50.6 ± 4.7 kg; 4.9 ± 0.3 months of age) were fed an 80% forage diet during P1(day 0 to 21). On day 21, 4 wethers were slaughtered to obtain baseline liver and rumen tissue. During P2 (day 22 to 25), the remaining wethers were fed an 80% concentrate diet. Four wethers were slaughtered on day 25 to obtain P2 liver and rumen tissue. During P3 (day 22 to 49), the remaining five wethers were fed 80% concentrate diets and were slaughtered on day 49 to obtain P3 liver and rumen tissue. Rumen parakeratosis was greater (p ≤ 0.02) in wethers sampled in P2 and P3 when compared to those sampled in P1. Among positive acute phase reactants, expression of serum α-amyloid (SAA) and haptoglobin (HPT) tended (p ≤ 0.12) to be 6-and 10-fold greater, respectively, in wethers sampled in P2 compared to wethers sampled in P1; however, SAA and HPT expression was not different between wethers sampled in P3 and P1. Plasma glucose and β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) increased (p ≤ 0.03) in wethers sampled in both P2 and P3 compared to the wethers sampled in P1, while total protein and cholesterol decreased (p ≤ 0.06) only in wethers sampled from P2 compared to those sampled in P1. Hepatic acute phase responses suggest that the wethers adapted to an 80% concentrate diet over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number686
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research received no external funding and was supported through discretionary funds of Tara L. Felix. The authors would like to thank the staff at the Microscopy and Cytometry Facility of Huck Institute of Life Sciences (Pennsylvania State University) for helping us with rumen tissue histology. We are also grateful to Massimiliano Festuccia (Visiting Student, Universit? degli Studi di Parma) and the staff at the Penn State Meats Laboratory for helping us with the animal slaughter for this experiment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Acidosis
  • Diet adaptation
  • MRNA expression
  • Nutrition
  • Sheep

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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