CATEGORY: Feed Additives

DATE:June 2012

AUTHORS: Montoro, C. , Ipharraguerre, I.R. and Bach, A.

BOOK/JOURNAL:Journal of Dairy Science 95 :2531–2539


Opioid peptides may participate in the control of feed intake through mechanisms involving pleasure reward linked to consumption of palatable feed. The objective of this study was to determine whether blocking opioid receptors might void oro-sensorial preferences of calves, and affect circulating glucose, insulin, and anorexigenic hormones in fasted and fed calves. Two experiments involved 32 Holstein calves [body weight (BW)=86.5±1.73 kg, age=72±0.6 d]. In experiment 1, all calves received an ad libitum choice of the same feed either unflavored or flavored with a sweetener (Luctarom SFS-R, Lucta, Montornès del Vallès, Spain). Feed consumption was recorded every 2 h from 0800 to 1400 h for 3 consecutive days to verify the establishment of an oro-sensorial preference for sweet feed (SF). The SF was preferred over the control feed (CF) at all recorded times. In experiment 2, calves were subjected to a 2 × 2 factorial design to study the interaction between opioid activity and metabolic state. Half of the calves were fasted for 14 h (FAS), whereas the other half remained well fed (FED). Within each of these groups, at feeding time (0800 h), half of the calves received an i.v. injection of naloxone (NAL, an opioid receptor antagonist; 1 mg/kg of BW) and the other half was injected with saline solution (SAL; 0.9% NaCl). Therefore, treatments were FED-NAL, FED-SAL, FAS-NAL, and FAS-SAL. Blood samples were taken at -10, 20, 180, and 240 min relative to NAL or SAL injections. As expected, cumulative consumption of starter feed was greater in FAS than in FED calves. Total feed consumption 2 h after feeding was lower in NAL than in SAL calves. Calves in the FAS group did not discern between CF and SF during the first 4 h after feed offer. Preference for SF was greater in SAL than in NAL calves. Calves in the FED-SAL treatment preferred SF at 2 and 6 h after feed offer and tended to prefer SF at 4 h after feeding. However, FED-NAL calves did not discern between SF and CF during the first 4 h after feeding and tended to prefer SF only after 6 h from feeding. Plasma glucose, insulin, and cholecystokinin concentrations were greater in FED than in FAS calves. Injection of naloxone decreased plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in NAL calves. Blocking opioid receptors reduced intake the first 2 h after naloxone injection in FED calves, altered oro-sensorial preferences, and reduced plasma GLP-1 concentration. In conclusion, the opioid peptide system may control short-term feed intake by modulating the oro-sensorial response triggered by feed consumption, especially when calves are fed ad libitum.