Associations between endotoxin-induced metabolic changes and temperament in Brahman bulls,

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Summary

The influence of temperament on the alteration of metabolic parameters in response to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge was investigated. Brahman bulls were selected based on temperament score. Bulls (10 months; 211 ± 5 kg BW; n = 6, 8 and 7 for Calm, Intermediate and Temperamental groups, respectively) were fitted with indwelling jugular catheters to evaluate peripheral blood concentrations of glucose, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), insulin, epinephrine and cortisol before and after LPS administration (0.5 μg/kg BW LPS). Feed intake was also recorded. Intermediate bulls consumed more feed than the Temperamental bulls during the challenge (p = 0.046). Pre-LPS glucose (p = 0.401) and BUN (p = 0.222) did not differ among the temperament groups. However, pre-LPS insulin (p = 0.023) was lower, whereas pre-LPS NEFA (p < 0.001), cortisol (p < 0.001) and epinephrine (p < 0.001) were greater in Temperamental than in Calm and Intermediate bulls. Post-LPS glucose was increased in Calm and Intermediate bulls but not in Temperamental bulls (p < 0.001). Insulin concentrations post-LPS were greater in Calm than in Intermediate and Temperamental bulls (p < 0.001). Concentrations of NEFA post-LPS were greater in Temperamental than in Calm and Intermediate bulls (p < 0.001). Serum BUN concentration increased post-LPS, with values being greater in Calm and Intermediate than in Temperamental bulls (p = 0.012). Collectively, these data demonstrate that animal temperament is related to the metabolic responses of Brahman bulls following a provocative endotoxin challenge. Specifically, Temperamental bulls may preferentially utilize an alternate energy source (i.e. NEFA) to a greater degree than do bulls of Calm and Intermediate temperaments. The use of circulating NEFA from lipolysis may reduce the negative metabolic consequences of an immune response by allowing for a prompt answer to increasing energy demands required during immunological challenge, compared with the time required for glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis.

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