Short communication: Immunoglobulin variation in quarter-milked colostrum

Craig R. Baumrucker, Andrea Stark, Olga Wellnitz, Chad Dechow, Rupert M. Bruckmaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Whereas whole first-milked colostrum IgG1 variation is documented, the IgG1 difference between the quarter mammary glands of dairy animals is unknown. First colostrum was quarter-collected from healthy udders of 8 multiparous dairy cows, all within 3h of parturition. Weight of colostrum produced by individual quarters was determined and a sample of each was frozen for subsequent analysis. Immunoglobulin G1 concentration (mg/mL) was measured by ELISA and total mass (g) was calculated. Standard addition method was used to overcome colostrum matrix effects and validate the standard ELISA measures. Analysis of the data showed that cow and quarter (cow) were significantly different in both concentration and total mass per quarter. Analysis of the mean IgG1 concentration of the front and rear quarters showed that this was not different, but the large variation in individual quarters confounds the analysis. This quarter difference finding indicates that each mammary gland develops a different capacity to accumulate precolostrum IgG1, whereas the circulating hormone concentrations that induce colostrogenesis reach the 4 glands similarly. This finding also shows that the variation in quarter colostrum production is a contributor to the vast variation in first milking colostrum IgG1 content. Finally, the data suggests other factors, such as locally acting autocrine or paracrine, epigenetic, or stochasticity, in gene regulation mechanisms may impinge on colostrogenesis capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3700-3706
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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