Apr 5, 2020

Food intake dependent and independent effects of heat stress on lactation and mammary gland development

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Y. XiaoBenjamin Jennings Renquist


With a growing population, a reliable food supply is increasingly important. Heat stress reduces livestock meat and milk production. Genetic selection of high producing animals increases endogenous heat production, while climate change increases exogenous heat exposure. Both sources of heat exacerbate the risk of heat-induced depression of production. Rodents are valuable models to understand mechanisms conserved across species. Heat exposure suppresses feed intake across homeothermic species including rodents and production animal species. We assessed the response to early-mid lactation or late gestation heat exposure on milk production and mammary gland development/function, respectively. Using pair-fed controls we experimentally isolated the food intake dependent and independent effects of heat stress on mammary function and mass. Heat exposure (35{ring}C, relative humidity 50%) decreased daily food intake. When heat exposure occurred during lactation, hypophagia accounted for approximately 50% of the heat stress induced hypogalactia. Heat exposure during middle to late gestation suppressed food intake, which was fully responsible for the lowered mammary gland weight of dams at parturition. However, the impaired mammary glan...Continue Reading

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