This study aimed to determine the effects of feeding an increased volume of high-fat milk during the early post-natal life on metabolite concentrations in the blood, the expression of key genes regulating intermediary metabolism in the skeletal muscles, and the rate of growth of Japanese Black cattle. All calves were fed a high-fat milk replacer (crude protein, 26%; crude fat, 25.5%; total dissolved nitrogen, 116%). Control calves (n = 4) were nursed with 500 g milk replacer until 3 months of age, whereas calves in the experimental group (n = 4) were nursed with 1800 g milk replacer until 3 months, and then the volume was gradually reduced until 5 months. Body weight was significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group at 7 months. Plasma glucose concentrations were significantly lower in the experimental group. Expression of glucose-transporter-4 messenger RNA (mRNA) was lower, whereas that of glucose transporter 1, cluster of differentiation 36, and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1b mRNA was significantly higher in the Longissimus thoracis of the experimental group. Nutritional status during early post-natal life appears to strongly influence the growth rate and glucose and lipid metabolism in Japanese Black cattle.
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