Milk Metabotyping Identifies Metabolite Alterations in the Whole Raw Milk of Dairy Cows with Lameness

J Agric Food Chem. 2020 Apr 15;68(15):4507-4514. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b08312. Epub 2020 Apr 3.


The objective of this study was to evaluate whether whole raw milk originating from Holstein dairy cows affected by lameness alters its composition. A total of 20 healthy control cows and 6 cows diagnosed with lameness were selected out of 100 sampled cows in a nested case control study at 2 weeks postpartum, and whole raw milk samples were collected and analyzed with direct inject/liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance. In total, 168 metabolites were identified and quantified using an in-house mass spectrometry library. A total of 35 of the identified metabolites decreased versus control cows. Only two metabolites (i.e., sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and phosphatidylethanolamine ae C42:1) were increased in the milk of lame cows. In conclusion, milk metabotyping of lame cows revealed significant changes in multiple milk components, including amino acids, lipids, and biogenic amines. Most of the milk compounds identified as altered were lowered, suggesting deflection of nutrients from the mammary gland to the host needs for healing lameness-associated pathological processes.

Keywords: DI/LC−MS/MS; NMR; biomarkers; dairy cow; lameness; metabolomics; milk.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biogenic Amines / chemistry
  • Biogenic Amines / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / metabolism*
  • Cattle Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Glycerylphosphorylcholine / chemistry
  • Glycerylphosphorylcholine / metabolism
  • Lactation
  • Lameness, Animal / metabolism*
  • Lameness, Animal / physiopathology
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines / chemistry
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines / metabolism


  • Biogenic Amines
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines
  • phosphatidylethanolamine
  • Glycerylphosphorylcholine