Acylcarnitine profiles in serum and muscle of dairy cows receiving conjugated linoleic acids or a control fat supplement during early lactation
Acylcarnitines (ACC) are formed when fatty acid (FA)-coenzyme A enters the mitochondria for β-oxidation and the tricarboxylic acid cycle through the carnitine shuttle. Concentrations of ACC may vary depending on the metabolic conditions, but can accumulate when rates of β-oxidation exceed those of tricarboxylic acid. This study aimed to characterize muscle and blood serum acylcarnitine profiles, to determine the mRNA abundance of muscle carnitine acyltransferases, and to test whether dietary supplementation (from d 1 in milk) with conjugated linoleic acids (CLA; 100 g/d; each 12% of trans-10,cis-12 and cis-9,trans-11 CLA; n = 11) altered these compared with control fat-supplemented cows (CTR; n = 10). Blood samples and biopsies from the semitendinosus musclewere collected on d -21, 1, 21, and 70 relative to parturition. Serum and muscle ACC profiles were quantified using a targeted metabolomics approach. The CLA supplement did not affect the variables examined. The serum concentration of free carnitine decreased with the onset of lactation. The concentrations of acetylcarnitine, hydroxybutyrylcarnitine, and the sum of short-chain ACC in serum were greater from d -21 to 21 than thereafter. The serum concentrations of long-chain ACC tetradecenoylcarnitine (C14:1) and octadecenoylcarnitine (C18:1) concentrations were greater on d 1 and 21 compared with d -21. Muscle carnitine remained unchanged, whereas short- and medium-chain ACC, including propenoylcarnitine (C3:1), hydroxybutyrylcarnitine, hydroxyhexanoylcarnitine, hexenoylcarnitine (C6:1), and pimelylcarnitine were increased on d 21 compared with d -21 and decreased thereafter. In muscle, the concentrations of long-chain ACC (from C14 to C18) were elevated on d 1. The mRNA abundance of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1, muscle isoform (CPT1B) increased 2.8-fold from d -21 to 1, followed by a decline to nearly prepartum values by d 70, whereas that of CPT2 did not change over time. The majority of serum and muscle short- and long-chain ACC were positively correlated with the FA concentrations in serum, whereas serum carnitine and C5 were negatively correlated with FA. Time-related changes in the serum and muscle ACC profiles were demonstrated that were not affected by the CLA supplement at the dosage used in the present study. The elevated concentrations of long-chain ACC species in muscle and of serum acetylcarnitine around parturition point to incomplete FA oxidation were likely due to insufficient metabolic adaptation in response to the load of FA around parturition.