After parturition, feed intake of dairy cows increases within the first weeks of lactation, but the molecular mechanisms stimulating or delaying the slope of increase are poorly understood. Some of the molecules controlling feed intake are neuropeptides that are synthesized as propeptides and subsequently processed before they bind to specific receptors in feeding centers of the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid surrounds most of the feed intake regulatory centers and contains numerous neuropeptides. In the present study, we used a proteomic approach to analyze the neuropeptide concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid taken from dairy cows between day ?18 and ?10, and between day +10 and +20 relative to parturition. We found 13 proteins which were only present in samples taken before parturition, 13 proteins which were only present in samples taken after parturition, and 25 proteins which were commonly present, before and after parturition. Among them, differences in pro-neuropeptide Y, proenkephalin-A, neuroendocrine convertase-2, neurosecretory protein VGF, chromogranin-A, and secretogranin-1 and -3 concentrations relative to parturition highlight propeptides and prohormone processings involved in the control of feed intake and energy homeostasis. Scaffold analysis further emphasized an increased tone of endogenous opioids associated with the postparturient increase of feed intake.
Kuhla, B., Laeger, T., Husi, H., & Mullen, W. (2015). Cerebrospinal fluid prohormone processing and neuropeptides stimulating feed intake of dairy cows during early lactation. Journal of Proteome Research, 14(2), 823-828. https://doi.org/10.1021/pr500872k