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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Pasture on Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase and miRNA 103 Expression in Goat Milk: Preliminary Results

1
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Napoli Federico II, 80137 Napoli, Italy
2
Department of Health Sciences, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
3
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Animals 2019, 9(9), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090606
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 18 August 2019 / Accepted: 23 August 2019 / Published: 26 August 2019
An experiment to determine the effect of pasture on stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) and micro-RNA (miRNA) 103 expression was carried out on dairy goats. SCD is involved in determining milk content of conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) that are considered an important health factor in human nutrition. The alterations of the normal pathway of expression of miRNAs can have consequences on the normal cellular physiology and lead to different types of pathologies. The pasture significantly affected milk fat as well as fatty acid profile in goats, in particular CLAs showed higher levels in grazing animals with potential beneficial effects on human health. The pasture affected only the SCD trend, while that of miRNA 103 was influenced only by the stage of lactation. Due to the increasing interest of consumers for the healthy aspects of foods of animal origin, there is an important ongoing debate in the scientific community concerning those factors affecting milk quality in terms of human health. To our knowledge, this is the first observation of the effects of pasture on miRNA expression in milk from ruminant species.
The effect of pasture on the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) and miRNA 103 expression was evaluated on dairy goats divided into two homogeneous groups (G, grazing, and S, stable). Group S was housed in a stall and received alfalfa hay as forage, while group G was led to pasture. The goats of both the groups received the same amount of concentrate. Milk yield did not differ statistically between the groups. Group G showed significantly higher fat (4.10% vs. 2.94%, p < 0.01) and protein percentage (3.43% vs. 3.25%; p < 0.05) than group S. Among milk fatty acids, group S showed significantly higher levels of saturated fatty acids (SFA) and lower values of mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA). The percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) were not different between groups even if pasture significantly affected the percentages of C18:3 and total omega 3. In group G, total CLAs were twice than in group S (0.646% vs. 0.311%; p < 0.01) mainly due to the differences in CLA cis9 trans 11 (0.623% vs. 0.304%; p < 0.01). Milk total CLA in grazing group was significantly (p < 0.01) higher in August according to the highest value of both linoleic and α-linolenic acids in the pasture. In grazing animals, SCD expression decreased from April to June, increased in July and decreased again in August, while it was almost unvaried along the trial in group S. By contrast, the expression of miRNA 103 showed a similar trend for both groups, decreasing from April to June, increasing in July and falling down in August. To our knowledge, this is the first observation of the effects of pasture on miRNA expression in milk from ruminant species. View Full-Text
Keywords: goat; miRNA; stearoyl-CoA desaturase; CLA goat; miRNA; stearoyl-CoA desaturase; CLA
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Tudisco, R.; Morittu, V.M.; Addi, L.; Moniello, G.; Grossi, M.; Musco, N.; Grazioli, R.; Mastellone, V.; Pero, M.E.; Lombardi, P.; Infascelli, F. Influence of Pasture on Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase and miRNA 103 Expression in Goat Milk: Preliminary Results. Animals 2019, 9, 606.

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