Effects of arginase inhibition via jugular infusion of Nω-hydroxy-nor-l-arginine on metabolic and immune indices in lactating dairy cows

L. Y. Ding, Y. F. Wang, Y. Z. Shen, G. Zhou, X. Zhang, M. Z. Wang, J. J. Loor, J. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transformation of Arg to nitric oxide and ornithine (Arg-Orn) constitutes the main route of Arg metabolism in mammals. The primary objective of this work was to determine the effects of inhibiting the Arg-Orn pathway via N ω -hydroxy-nor-L-arginine (nor-NOHA) on health of lactating cows. Furthermore, we also explored the effect of Arg-Orn inhibition on the efficiency of nitrogen utilization to find support for previous research that showed the inhibition of Arg-Orn inhibited milk protein synthesis. Six healthy Chinese Holstein cows of similar body weight (550.0 ± 20 kg), parity (4.0 ± 0), body condition score (3.0 ± 0), milk yield (21.0 ± 1.0 kg), and days in milk (80 ± 2 d) were selected and randomly assigned to 3 treatments in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design with 22 d for each period (7 d for infusion and 15 d for washout). The treatments were (1) saline infusion (control); (2) infusion of 125 mg/L of nor-NOHA; and (3) infusion of 125 mg/L of nor-NOHA with 9.42 g/L of Arg. Dry matter intake, apparent digestibility of nutrients, urinary N, N in milk, and blood indices of metabolism and immune function were determined. Compared with the control, the infusion of nor-NOHA had no effect on the concentrations of cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins, IgA, IL-1β tumor necrosis factor-α and alanine transaminase. In addition, the dry matter intake, apparent digestibility of N, and the concentration of milk protein N in the Nor-NOHA did not differ from the control; however, the infusion of nor-NOHA and Arg resulted in greater concentrations of high-density lipoprotein, IgA, IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α and lower concentrations of cholesterol in serum compared with the control. Moreover, the addition of Arg to cows infused with nor-NOHA increased the concentration of nitrate (the indicator of nitric oxide) in serum and was associated with greater milk protein N production due to greater milk yield compared with those infused with nor-NOHA. Overall, the results indicated important roles of Arg in immunity and mammary N utilization, whereas a minor role of the Arg-Orn pathway in these physiologic processes was found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3310-3320
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • N -hydroxy-nor-L-arginine
  • N utilization efficiency
  • arginine
  • immune function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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