Effect of ruminal glucose infusion on dry matter intake, urinary nitrogen composition, and serum metabolite and hormone profiles in ewes

M. S. Brown, D. M. Hallford, M. L. Galyean, C. R. Krehbiel, G. Duff

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Twelve 18-mo-old Debouillet ewes were used to determine the effect of ruminal glucose infusion on DMI, on urinary ammonium (NH4+) and urea N (UUN) concentrations, and on serum metabolite and hormone profiles. Ewes were limit-fed a 90% concentrate diet for 30 d, stratified by BW into three groups (average BW = 82.6 ± 1.1 kg), and assigned randomly to receive 0, 5, or 10 g of glucose/kg of BW via esophageal intubation. Urine was collected hourly for 12 h and blood (jugular venipuncture) at 30-min intervals for 12 h. After 12 h, ewes were housed individually, allowed free access to the diet, and DMI was recorded for 5 d. Venous blood pH averaged 7.49, 7.48, and 7.48 at 0 h and decreased (linear [L], P < .01) at 12 h (7.41, 7.36, and 7.26) with increasing glucose. Serum glucose increased (L, P = .06) at 3 and 6 h. Serum L(+)-lactate increased (L, P = .08) at 3, 6, and 9 h, whereas serum D(-)-lactate increased linearly (P = .09) at 6 and 9 h and quadratically (P < .10) at 12 h. After the glucose challenge, DMI decreased (L, P < .05). Urinary pH and NH4+ were not influenced by glucose infusion; however, UUN increased at 3 (quadratic [Q], P < .05), 4, 5, 6 (L, P = .03), and 7 h (Q, P < .05) and decreased at 11 and 12 h (L, P = .09). As glucose infusion increased, serum creatinine increased at 9 (L, P < .01) and 12 h (Q, P = .02). Generally, serum Na and P increased (P = .09), whereas K decreased (P < .05), with glucose infusion. Lactate dehydrogenase activity increased with glucose infusion (Q, P < .10) at 3, 6, 9, and 12 h. Increasing glucose infusion increased serum globulin (Q, P = .06), albumin, and total protein (L, P = .08). Serum prolactin and vasopressin were not influenced (P = .22) by glucose infusion. Serum insulin and aldosterone increased quadratically (P = .08), whereas serum growth hormone decreased linearly (P = .08) as a result of increasing glucose infusion. Results suggest that UUN, serum insulin, aldosterone, and several serum constituents may serve as markers of organic acid load in ruminants fed high-concentrate diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3068-3076
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999



  • Acidosis
  • Hormones
  • Serum
  • Urea nitrates

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