The objective of the present study was to describe plasma hormonal and metabolite profile and mRNA expression levels and activities of the enzymes pyruvate carboxylase (PC), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), and acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) carboxylase in the liver of male Holstein calves before (1 and 3 wk of age) and after (8, 13, and 19 wk of age) weaning at 6 wk of age. The mean plasma concentration of acetate and β-hydroxybutyrate increased, and that of plasma lactate and nonesterified fatty acids decreased with week, particularly after weaning. Plasma glucose concentration was lowest at 8 wk of age. The mean plasma concentration of insulin and glucagon did not change with time, and that of Cortisol was greatest at 1 wk of age. In the liver, enzyme activity of PC was greatest at 1 wk of age and decreased with time. There was a significant relationship between the activity and the mRNA level for PC. Activity of PEPCK also decreased with week. Acetyl-CoA carboxylase activity tended to decrease with week, and activity at 13 wk of age was lower than that at other times. Expression of PC mRNA, but not that of PEPCK and acetyl-CoA carboxylase α, decreased with week. We conclude that the hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes and acetyl-CoA carboxylase activities tend to decrease with age, reflecting changes in plasma metabolites in early weaning production systems.
- Early weaning
- Gluconeogenic enzyme