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Inhibiting prolactin by cabergoline accelerates mammary gland remodeling during the early dry period in dairy cows.

  • Boutinaud, M1
  • Isaka, N2
  • Gandemer, E3
  • Lamberton, P3
  • Wiart, S3
  • Taranilla, A I De Prado2
  • Sordillo, L M4
  • Lollivier, V5
  • 1 INRA, UMR1348 PEGASE, 35590 Saint-Gilles, France; Agrocampus Ouest, UMR1348 Pegase, F-35000 Rennes, France. Electronic address: [email protected] , (France)
  • 2 Ceva Santé Animale, F33500 Libourne, France. , (France)
  • 3 INRA, UMR1348 PEGASE, 35590 Saint-Gilles, France; Agrocampus Ouest, UMR1348 Pegase, F-35000 Rennes, France. , (France)
  • 4 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.
  • 5 INRA, UMR1348 PEGASE, 35590 Saint-Gilles, France; Agrocampus Ouest, UMR1348 Pegase, F-35000 Rennes, France; Université Européenne de Bretagne, F-35000 Rennes, France. , (France)
Published Article
Journal of Dairy Science
American Dairy Science Association
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2017
DOI: 10.3168/jds.2017-12783
PMID: 28964519


The inhibition of prolactin release using cabergoline, a dopamine agonist, is an effective strategy to accelerate the changes in mammary secretion composition after drying-off. The objective of this study was to determine how cabergoline may affect mammary tissue remodeling during early involution. Holstein dairy cows were treated with either a single i.m. administration of 5.6 mg of cabergoline (Velactis, Ceva Santé Animale, Libourne, France, n = 7) or placebo (n = 7) at the time of drying-off. Mammary biopsy samples were collected 1 wk before drying-off (d -6), after 30 h of milk accumulation (d 1), and again 8 d following drying-off (d 8) to determine changes in gene expression, lactoferrin content, and cell turnover. Blood and mammary secretion samples were collected at d -6 and again at d 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 14 following the abrupt cessation of lactation to evaluate indicators of blood-milk barrier integrity and other markers of mammary tissue remodeling. Cabergoline induced less SLC2A1, BAX, CAPN2, and IGFBP5 mRNA expression. In contrast, cabergoline did not modify changes in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Following the cessation of lactation, changes in mammary secretion composition (Na+ and K+) and blood lactose concentrations were indicative of a loss in the blood-milk barrier function in both treatment groups. Cabergoline treatment affected only Na+ and K+ concentrations at d 1, suggesting a moderate increase in tight junction permeability. The increase in the activity of MMP9 and in mammary epithelial cell concentration in mammary secretions was greater in cabergoline-treated cows than in control cows, suggesting more mammary tissue remodeling. The increase in lactoferrin immunostaining in the mammary tissue occurred earlier for cabergoline-treated cows than for control cows, and was essentially localized in the stroma. Changes in some key markers of mammary involution suggest that cabergoline accelerates mammary gland remodeling. Thus, a single injection of cabergoline after the last milking would facilitate drying-off by enhancing mammary gland involution.

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