Nutrigenomics, rumen-derived bioactive fatty acids, and the regulation of milk fat synthesis

Dale E. Bauman, Kevin J. Harvatine, Adam L. Lock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Mammary synthesis of milk fat continues to be an active research area, with significant advances in the regulation of lipid synthesis by bioactive fatty acids (FAs). The biohydrogenation theory established that diet-induced milk fat depression (MFD) in the dairy cow is caused by an inhibition of mammary synthesis of milk fat by specific FAs produced during ruminal biohydrogenation. The first such FA shown to affect milk fat synthesis was trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid, and its effects have been well characterized, including dose-response relationships. During MFD, lipogenic capacity and transcription of key mammary lipogenic genes are coordinately down-regulated. Results provide strong evidence for sterol response element-binding protein-1 (SREBP1) and Spot 14 as biohydrogenation intermediate responsive lipogenic signaling pathway for ruminants and rodents. The study of MFD and its regulation by specific rumen-derived bioactive FAs represents a successful example of nutrigenomics in present-day animal nutrition research and offers several potential applications in animal agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-319
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Nutrition
StatePublished - Aug 21 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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