Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2018 Apr 30;178:92-106.
doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2017.10.010. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Proteomics and Metabolomics Characterizing the Pathophysiology of Adaptive Reactions to the Metabolic Challenges During the Transition From Late Pregnancy to Early Lactation in Dairy Cows

Free article

Proteomics and Metabolomics Characterizing the Pathophysiology of Adaptive Reactions to the Metabolic Challenges During the Transition From Late Pregnancy to Early Lactation in Dairy Cows

Fabrizio Ceciliani et al. J Proteomics. .
Free article


The transition from late pregnancy to early lactation is a critical period in a dairy cow's life due to the rapidly increasing drain of nutrients from the maternal organism towards the foetus and into colostrum and milk. In order to cope with the challenges of parturition and lactation, comprehensive adaptive reactions comprising the endocrine and the immune system need to be accomplished. There is high variation in this coping ability and both metabolic and infectious diseases, summarized as "production diseases", such as hypocalcaemia (milk fever), fatty liver syndrome, laminitis and ketosis, may occur and impact welfare, productive lifespan and economic outcomes. Proteomics and metabolomics have emerged as valuable techniques to characterize proteins and metabolite assets from tissue and biological fluids, such as milk, blood and urine. In this review we provide an overview on metabolic status and physiological changes during the transition period and the related production diseases in dairy cows, and summarize the state of art on proteomics and metabolomics of biological fluids and tissues involved in metabolic stress during the peripartum period. We also provide a current and prospective view of the application of the recent achievements generated by omics for biomarker discovery and their potential in diagnosis.

Biological significance: For high-yielding dairy cows there are several "occupational diseases" that occur mainly during the metabolic challenges related to the transition from pregnancy to lactation. Such diseases and their sequelae form a major concern for dairy production, and often lead to early culling of animals. Beside the economical perspective, metabolic stress may severely influence animal welfare. There is a multitude of studies about the metabolic backgrounds of such so called production diseases like ketosis, fatty liver, or hypocalcaemia, although the investigations aiming to assess the complexity of the pathophysiological reactions are largely focused on gene expression, i.e. transcriptomics. For extending the knowledge towards the proteome and the metabolome, the respective technologies are of increasing importance and can provide an overall view of how dairy cows react to metabolic stress, which is needed for an in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the related diseases. We herein review the current findings from studies applying proteomics and metabolomics to transition-related diseases, including fatty liver, ketosis, endometritis, hypocalcaemia and laminitis. For each disease, a brief overview of the up to date knowledge about its pathogenesis is provided, followed by an insight into the most recent achievements on the proteome and metabolome of tissues and biological fluids, such as blood serum and urine, highlighting potential biomarkers. We believe that this review would help readers to be become more familiar with the recent progresses of molecular background of transition-related diseases thus encouraging research in this field.

Keywords: Fatty liver; Hypocalcaemia; Ketosis; Metabolomics; Proteomics; Transition period.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources