Research Papers: Immunology:

Lipopolysaccharide derived from the digestive tract activates inflammatory gene expression and inhibits casein synthesis in the mammary glands of lactating dairy cows

Kai Zhang, Guangjun Chang, Tianle Xu, Lei Xu, Junfei Guo, Di Jin and Xiangzhen Shen _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:9652-9665. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7371

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Kai Zhang1, Guangjun Chang1, Tianle Xu1, Lei Xu1, Junfei Guo1, Di Jin1 and Xiangzhen Shen1

1 College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Xiangzhen Shen, email:

Keywords: lipopolysaccharide, signaling pathway, inflammatory response, casein, mammary gland, Immunology and Microbiology Section, Immune response, Immunity

Received: September 02, 2015 Accepted: January 29, 2016 Published: February 14, 2016


To meet the nutrition requirements of lactation, dairy cows are usually fed a high concentrate diet (HC). However, high-grain feeding causes subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA), a metabolic disorder that causes milk protein depression. This study aimed to investigate the effect of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) released in the rumen on inflammatory gene expression and casein synthesis in mammary glands of lactating dairy cows fed a HC diet. We found that milk protein was significantly decreased in the HC group after 15 weeks of feeding. Overall, LPS concentrations in the rumen fluid, lacteal artery and vein were increased in the HC group. Transcriptome microarray was used to evaluate alterations in the signaling pathway in mammary glands. Signaling pathways involved in inflammatory responses were activated, whereas those involved in protein synthesis were inhibited in the HC group. mRNA expression involved in inflammatory responses, including that of TLR4, NF-кB and pro-inflammatory genes, was increased in the HC group, while αs1-casein (CSN1S1), β-casein (CSN2), mTOR and S6K gene expression were decreased. Moreover, protein expression was consistent with the corresponding gene expression. After feeding with an HC diet, LPS derived from the rumen increased inflammatory gene expression and inhibited casein synthesis in the mammary glands of lactating dairy cows fed a HC diet.

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