Duodenal infusion of α-linolenic acid affects fatty acid metabolism in the mammary gland of lactating dairy cows

G. Yang, D. P. Bu, J. Q. Wang, Khas-Erdene, L. Y. Zhou, J. J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing the concentration of α-linolenic acid (LNA; 18:3 cis-9,. cis-12,. cis-15) in blood might affect fatty acid (FA) metabolism in the mammary gland of dairy cows. The objective was to determine the effects of different arterial concentrations of 18:3 cis-9,. cis-12,. cis-15 (18:3n-3) achieved via duodenal infusions with LNA on mammary uptake [assessed via arterial-rectificative venous concentration (AC-RVC) differences], synthesis of FA, and mammary gland FA balance in lactating dairy cows. Four primiparous lactating Chinese Holstein cows fitted with duodenal cannulas were administered 2 treatments in a crossover design: LNA-rich FA infusion at varying concentrations (0, 100, 200, and 300 g/d) versus basal infusate control. Arterial concentration of 18:3n-3 increased quadratically (29.24, 134.1, 218.3, and 219.3. mg/L of plasma) as LNA infusion levels increased from 0 to 300 g/d. The mammary extraction rate and uptake of 18:3n-3 increased linearly as LNA infusion increased. The AC-RVC difference of total FA and 18:3n-3 increased more rapidly than arterial concentrations with all treatments. Increasing LNA infusion increased linearly the balance of 10:0 and 12:0, whereas it decreased linearly the 14:1 and 15:0 balances. Increasing arterial concentration of 18:3n-3 affects uptake and synthesis of FA in the mammary gland of lactating dairy cows. It is also suggested that the use of AC-RVC difference maybe an acceptable way to investigate mammary gland uptake and synthesis of FA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5821-5830
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Dairy cow
  • Mammary gland metabolism
  • Uptake
  • α-linolenic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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