Interaction between dietary content of protein and sodium chloride on milk urea concentration, urinary urea excretion, renal recycling of urea, and urea transfer to the gastrointestinal tract in dairy cows

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Abstract

Dietary protein and salt affect the concentration of milk urea nitrogen (MUN; mg of N/dL) and the relationship between MUN and excretion of urea nitrogen in urine (UUN; g of N/d) of dairy cattle. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of dietary protein and sodium chloride (NaCl) intake separately, and their interaction, on MUN and UUN, on the relationship between UUN and MUN, on renal recycling of urea, and on urea transfer to the gastrointestinal tract. Twelve second-parity cows (body weight of 645±37kg, 146±29d in milk, and a milk production of 34.0±3.28kg/d), of which 8 were previously fitted with a rumen cannula, were fitted with catheters in the urine bladder and jugular vein. The experiment had a split-plot arrangement with dietary crude protein (CP) content as the main plot factor [116 and 154g of CP/kg of dry matter (DM)] and dietary NaCl content as the subplot factor (3.1 and 13.5g of Na/kg of DM). Cows were fed at 95% of the average ad libitum feed intake of cows receiving the low protein diets. Average MUN and UUN were, respectively, 3.90mg of N/dL and 45g of N/d higher for the high protein diets compared with the low protein diets. Compared with the low NaCl diets, MUN was, on average, 1.74mg of N/dL lower for the high NaCl diets, whereas UUN was unaffected. We found no interaction between dietary content of protein and NaCl on performance characteristics or on MUN, UUN, urine production, and renal clearance characteristics. The creatinine clearance rate was not affected by dietary content of protein and NaCl. Urea transfer to the gastrointestinal tract, expressed as a fraction of plasma urea entry rate, was negatively related to dietary protein, whereas it was not affected by dietary NaCl content. We found no interaction between dietary protein and NaCl content on plasma urea entry rate and gastrointestinal urea entry rate or their ratio. The relationship between MUN and UUN was significantly affected by the class variable dietary NaCl content: UUN=-17.7±7.24 + 10.09±1.016 × MUN + 2.26±0.729 × MUN (for high NaCl); R(2)=0.85. Removal of the MUN × NaCl interaction term lowered the coefficient of determination from 0.85 to 0.77. In conclusion, dietary protein content is positively related to MUN and UUN, whereas dietary NaCl content is negatively correlated to MUN but NaCl content is not related to UUN. We found no interaction between dietary protein and NaCl content on performance, MUN, UUN, or renal urea recycling, nor on plasma urea entry rate and urea transfer to the gastrointestinal tract. For a proper interpretation of the relationship between MUN and UUN, the effect of dietary NaCl should be taken into account, but we found no evidence that the effect of dietary NaCl on MUN is dependent on dietary protein content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5734-5745
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume96
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • fed grass-silage
  • ammonia emissions
  • nitrogen-excretion
  • holstein cows
  • cattle
  • metabolism
  • sheep
  • rumen
  • plasma
  • degradability

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