Whole body and muscle energy metabolism in preruminant calves: effects of nutrient synchrony and physical activity

J.J.G.C. van den Borne, J.F. Hocquette, M.W.A. Verstegen, W.J.J. Gerrits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of asynchronous availability of amino acids and glucose on muscle composition and enzyme activities in skeletal muscle were studied in preruminant calves. It was hypothesized that decreased oxidative enzyme activities in muscle would explain a decreased whole body heat production with decreasing nutrient synchrony. Preruminant calves were assigned to one of six degrees of nutrient synchrony, step-wise separating the intake of protein and lactose over the two daily meals. Calves at the most synchronous treatment received two identical meals daily. At the most asynchronous treatment, 85 % of the daily protein and 20 % of the daily lactose supply were fed in one meal and the remainder in the other meal. Daily intakes of all dietary ingredients were identical for all treatments. Oxidative enzyme activities and fat content increased with decreasing nutrient synchrony in M. Rectus Abdominis (RA), but not in M. Semitendinosus. Cytochrome-c-oxidase activity was positively correlated with fat content in RA (r 0·49; P <0·01). Oxidative enzyme activities in both muscles were not correlated with average daily heat production, but citrate synthase activity in RA was positively correlated (P <0·01) with the circadian amplitude (r 0·53) and maximum (r 0·61) of heat production associated with physical activity. In conclusion, this study indicates that muscle energy stores are regulated by nutrient synchrony. The lack of correlation between muscle oxidative enzyme activities and average daily heat production was in contrast with findings in human subjects. Therefore, oxidative enzyme activity in muscle should not be used as an indicator for whole body heat production in growing calves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-675
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • skeletal-muscle
  • feeding level
  • growing pigs
  • fiber characteristics
  • palmitate oxidation
  • adipose-tissue
  • milk replacer
  • meat quality
  • amino-acid
  • protein

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Whole body and muscle energy metabolism in preruminant calves: effects of nutrient synchrony and physical activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this