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Changes in the gene expression of adiponectin and glucose transporter 12 (GLUT12) in lactating and non-lactating cows

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Glucose delivery and uptake by the mammary gland is a rate-limiting step in milk synthesis. Insulin resistance is believed to increase throughout the body following the onset of lactation. To study glucose metabolism in peak-, late-, and non-lactating cows we analyzed the expression of an adipokine, namely, adiponectin, decreased insulin resistance, leptin, and a novel insulin-responsive glucose transporter (GLUT12) in the adipose tissue and mammary gland by using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Our results demonstrated that the mRNA level of adiponectin in the adipose tissue was greater in non-lactating cows than in peak-lactating cows. In the adipose tissue, there were no significant differences in the abundance of GLUT12 mRNA between the peak-, late-, and non-lactating cows. In contrast, in the mammary gland, the mRNA level of GLUT12 was greater in non-lactating cows than in peak- and late-lactating cows. In the adipose tissue, the mRNA level of leptin and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma 2 (PPARγ2) was greater in non-lactating cows than in peak-lactating cows. The results of the present study suggest that in lactating cows adiponectin plays an important role in insulin resistance in the adipose tissue; in the mammary gland, GLUT12 expression is believed to be an important factor for insulin-dependent glucose metabolism.
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Keywords: Holstein cow; adiponectin; adipose tissue; glucose transporter 12; mammary gland

Document Type: Rapid Communication

Affiliations: 1: National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Tsukuba, 2: National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, 3: School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Kitasato University, Towada and 4: Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Aoba, Sendai, Japan

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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