2020 journal article

Physiological response, function of sweat glands, and hair follicle cycling in cattle in response to fescue toxicosis and hair genotype

Journal of Animal Science, 98(3).

By: J. Eisemann n, M. Ashwell n, T. Devine n, D. Poole n, M. Poore n & K. Linder n

author keywords: beef heifers; hair follicle; prolactin receptor; slick hair trait; sweat gland; tall fescue
MeSH headings : Animal Feed; Animals; Cattle / genetics; Cattle / physiology; Cattle Diseases / microbiology; Cattle Diseases / physiopathology; Diet / veterinary; Endophytes / physiology; Female; Festuca / microbiology; Gene Expression Regulation; Genotype; Hair; Hair Follicle / physiology; Heat-Shock Response; Mycotoxicosis / microbiology; Mycotoxicosis / physiopathology; Mycotoxicosis / veterinary; Plant Poisoning / microbiology; Plant Poisoning / physiopathology; Plant Poisoning / veterinary; Sweat Glands / physiology
Source: Web Of Science
Added: February 6, 2021

Abstract Fescue toxicosis is a syndrome that results when cattle consume toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue. The objective of this study was to compare the response in physiological variables, sweat gland function, hair follicle cycling, and gene expression to feeding a total mixed ration that included tall fescue haylage and tall fescue seed containing a toxic endophyte (EI) or tall fescue haylage containing a nontoxic novel endophyte (EN) in beef heifers (Angus × Senepol heifers, n = 31) with 2 different hair genotypes. Numbers in each subgroup were as follows: novel endophyte, heterozygous slick (EN-S; n = 8), novel endophyte, homozygous hairy (wild type, EN-W; n = 7), endophyte-infected, heterozygous slick (EI-S; n = 10), and endophyte-infected, homozygous hairy (wild type, EI-W; n = 6). Physiological measurements were taken weekly for 7 wk. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS including dietary fescue treatment (EN vs. EI) and hair genotype (S vs. W) as main effects, day as a repeated measure, and temperature–humidity index (THI) as a covariate. Skin biopsies were taken before treatment initiation and on day 37 of treatment. Average surface temperature (ST) increased as the THI increased (P < 0.0001). Average ST was greater (P < 0.01) for animals fed EI than for animals fed the EN fescue diet, and greater (P < 0.01) for animals with the W genotype compared with animals with the S genotype. The difference between heifers with the S and W genotype was greater at greater THI (genotype × day interaction, P < 0.01). Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was greater (P < 0.05) for animals with the S genotype compared with the W genotype and greater (P < 0.05) for heifers with the S genotype than for heifers with the W genotype when fed EI (36.7, 38.5, 30.0, and 38.7 g/m2 per hour for EN-W, EN-S, EI-W, and EI-S, respectively). The fraction of follicles in telogen in plucked hair samples for heifers fed EI was greater for animals with the S genotype than the W genotype (fraction in telogen: 0.456, 0.565, 0.297, 0.702 for EN-W, EN-S, EI-W, and EI-S, respectively; diet × genotype interaction, P < 0.05). Fraction of follicles in anagen was the opposite. EI fescue resulted in increased ST, changes in hair follicle cycling that support greater hair growth, and decreased TEWL for heifers with the W genotype compared with S genotype, suggesting greater heat stress in response to EI.