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A dynamic mammary gland model describing colostrum immunoglobulin transfer and milk production in lactating sows

Abstract : The physiology of the sow mammary gland is qualitatively well described and understood. However, the quantitative effect of various biological mechanisms contributing to the synthesis of colostrum and milk is lacking and more complicated to obtain. The objective of this study was to integrate physiological and empirical knowledge of the production of colostrum and milk in a dynamic model of a single sow mammary gland to understand and quantify parameters controlling mammary gland output. In 1983, Heather Neal and John Thornley published a model of the mammary gland in cattle, which was used as a starting point for the development of this model. The original cattle model was reparameterized, modified, and extended to describe the production of milk by the sow mammary gland during lactation and the prepartum production of colostrum as the combined output of immunoglobulins (Ig) and milk. Initially, the model was reparameterized to simulate milk synthesis potential of a single gland by considering biological characteristics and empirical estimations of sows and piglets. Secondly, the model was modified to simulate more accurately the responses to changes in milk removal rates. This was done by linking the ejectable milk storage capacity to the number of secretory cells rather than being constant throughout lactation. Finally, the model was extended to include the prepartum synthesis of milk and the kinetics of Ig into and out of the mammary gland. A progressive capacity of secretory cells to synthesize milk was used to differentiate the time between the onset of milk synthesis and Ig transfer. Changes in maximum milk removal rate, duration of milk ejection, and nursing interval exerted a great impact on the modeled milk output. Changes by ±60% in one of these parameters were capable of increasing milk output by 28% to 39% during the first 4 wk in lactation compared with the reference parameterization. This suggests that the ability of the piglet to remove milk from the gland exerts a key control on milk synthesis during lactation. Modeling colostrum as the combined output of Ig and milk allowed to represent the rapid decline in Ig concentration observed during the first hours after farrowing. In conclusion, biological and empirical knowledge was integrated into a model of the sow mammary gland and constitutes a simple approach to explore in which conditions and to what extent individual parameters influence Ig kinetics and milk production.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03247335
Contributor : Emilie Bernard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 9:10:36 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 3:37:45 AM

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Uffe Krogh, Hélène Quesnel, Nathalie Le Floc'H, Aude Simongiovanni, Jaap van Milgen. A dynamic mammary gland model describing colostrum immunoglobulin transfer and milk production in lactating sows. Journal of Animal Science, American Society of Animal Science, 2021, 99 (2), pp.1-13. ⟨10.1093/jas/skab030⟩. ⟨hal-03247335⟩

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