Changes in plasma fatty acids profile in hyperketonemic ewes during early lactation: a preliminary study

Anastasia Lisuzzo, Filippo Fiore, Kevin Harvatine, Elisa Mazzotta, Michele Berlanda, Nicoletta Spissu, Tamara Badon, Barbara Contiero, Livia Moscati, Enrico Fiore

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4 Scopus citations


The transition from late pregnancy to early lactation is characterized by marked changes in energy balance of dairy ruminants. The mobilization of adipose tissue led to an increase in plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). The aim of this study was to analyze the total plasma fatty acids of healthy and hyperketonemic dairy ewes in early lactation through gas chromatography (GC) to evaluate metabolic alterations. An observational study was used with a cross-sectional experimental design. Forty-six Sarda dairy ewes were enrolled in the immediate post-partum (7 ± 3 days in milk) and divided into two groups according to serum BHB concentration: non-hyperketonemic group (n = 28; BHB < 0.86 mmol/L) and hyperketonemic group (n = 18; BHB ≥ 0.86 mmol/L). A two-way ANOVA included the effect of group and parity was used to evaluate differences in fatty acids (FA) concentrations. A total of 34 plasma FA was assessed using GC. 12 out of 34 FA showed a significant different between groups and 3 out of 34 were tended to significance. Only NEFA concentration and stearic acid were influenced by parity. The results may suggest possible links with lipid metabolism, inflammatory and immune responses in hyperketonemic group. In conclusion, GC represents a useful tool in the study of hyperketonemia and primiparous dairy ewes might show a greater risk to develop this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17017
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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