Genomic study of the mammary gland in bovines acclimated to a tropical environment

  • D Wetzel-Gastal
  • F Feitor
  • S van Harten
  • M Sebastiana
  • LMR Sousa
  • LA Cardoso
Keywords: Dairy cow, mammary gland, transcriptomic, thermic stress


This study aims at examining the expression of genes on the mammary gland, corresponding to various levels of adaptation or acclimatization to environmental stress. The authors utilized 18 cows from three genetic groups, Holstein Brazil (HB), Gyr (GG) and Gyrolando (GH ), all in the same stage of lactation, and subjected them to the same management conditions. Venous and arterial blood were collected to determine the hormonal profile and blood chemistry. Mammary gland tissue was used for transcriptomic studies. Prolactin and GH plasmatic concentrations were higher in Holstein animals. There were no differences in IGF-1 concentrations among the experimental groups. T3 concentrations were similar among the Holstein and Gyr groups. From the 4608 transcripts in the BLO-Bovine EST (Michigan State University, US) databank that were used in this experiment, 105 differentially expressed genes were identified in at least one of the groups. Among these, the authors highlighted 14 genes that were related to the structure of the mammary gland (CRDGF, CD97, GH, endoglin, LTF, INPP, PTP), to response to thermal stress (Crh_11, v-Fos, Cdc37) and to milk protein (RPL35, κ-casein, β-casein, α-s2-casein). Eight of these were validated through real-time polymerase chain reaction. The HB animals, in comparison with the GH and Gyr groups, presented up-regulated genes associated with epithelium cellular differentiation and proliferation, milk productivity and decreased heat stress tolerance. Gyr animals presented up-regulated transcripts associated with cellular defence, apoptosis processes and increased tolerance to heat stress. The GH group showed intermediary results compared with the other two groups.

Keywords: Dairy cow, mammary gland, transcriptomic, thermic stress


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2221-4062
print ISSN: 0375-1589