Short communication: Arginase inhibition reduces the synthesis of casein in bovine mammary epithelial cells

M. Z. Wang, L. Y. Ding, C. Wang, L. M. Chen, J. J. Loor, H. R. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main purpose of this work was to determine the effect of arginase inhibition via Nω-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine (nor-NOHA) on casein synthesis in bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC). Passage 2 BMEC isolated from dairy cows were seeded to 6-well plates and randomly divided into 4 treatments: (1) control [Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium:Nutrient Mixture F-12 medium (DMEM/F12)]; (2) nor-NOHA (DMEM/F12 + 1 mmol/L nor-NOHA); (3) nor-NOHA + arginine (DMEM/F12 + 1 mmol/L nor-NOHA + 3.2 mmol/L Arg); and (4) nor-NOHA + ornithine (DMEM/F12+ 1 mmol/L nor-NOHA + 1 mmol/L Orn). Then, we determined the activity of enzymes related to Arg metabolism and casein synthesis in BMEC and the proliferation of cells. The addition of nor-NOHA reduced the activity of arginase and ornithine decarboxylase but had no effect on the activity of nitric oxide synthase, and these responses were the same at the gene expression level. In addition, supplementation of nor-NOHA in BMEC reduced cellular proliferation and casein synthesis. Addition of Arg to nor-NOHA resulted in cellular proliferation and casein synthesis similar to that of nor-NOHA alone. In contrast, addition of Orn to the medium with nor-NOHA increased the synthesis of casein and cellular proliferation compared with Nor-NOHA. In conclusion, suppression of the Arg–arginase–Orn pathway reduced casein synthesis and cellular proliferation, which indicated that this pathway is an important regulator of the synthesis of casein in BMEC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4128-4133
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


  • N-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine (nor-NOHA)
  • arginine
  • mammary epithelial cell
  • milk casein
  • ornithine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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