We determined the effect of insulin on milk fatty acid (FA) and lipid composition in goats. Four dairy goats, 150. d in milk, were subjected to hyperinsulinemic clamp (treatment) or saline (control) infusion for 4. d in a crossover design study. Composition and concentration of plasma and milk FA, triglycerides, phospholipids, sphingolipids, and cholesterol were determined. Mammary gland biopsies were taken at the end of each experimental period and lipogenic gene expression was determined. Plasma insulin was elevated 3.5-fold, whereas plasma glucose remained constant during the treatment period. Feed intake decreased by 26% and fat yield decreased by 17% relative to controls. No change in nonesterified FA concentration was found between controls and treatment. Compared with controls, insulin decreased yield of long-chain saturated FA by 14%. Milk concentration of long-chain FA was reduced by 3%, whereas that of medium-chain FA increased by 5% during the treatment compared with controls. Hyperinsulinemic clamps increased the yields of milk phospholipids by 9% and cholesterol by 16%, whereas it only tended to decrease triglyceride yields (by 11%). Hyperinsulinemic treatment resulted in compositional changes in the milk fat globule membrane, as reflected by 15 and 9% decreases in phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine concentrations, respectively. Lipogenic gene expression of acyl coenzyme A carboxylase, stearoyl coenzyme A desaturase, and FA synthase did not change, whereas lipoprotein lipase gene expression tended toward an increase in the treatment period compared with controls. Hyperinsulinemic clamps reduce the availability of long-chain FA, which are considered to originate from the diet and adipose lipolysis for milk lipid synthesis by the mammary gland of goats. Under these conditions, long-chain FA might be preferentially channeled to phospholipid rather than triglyceride synthesis, hence increasing phospholipid yields. Mechanisms determining FA distribution among milk lipid components and the consequences of altered milk fat globule membrane lipid composition remained to be elucidated.
- Milk fat
- Milk fat globule membrane