A cell biological approach to studying lameness in the dairy cow

Maccallum, Amanda Jane (1999) A cell biological approach to studying lameness in the dairy cow. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis describes a cell biological approach to studying lameness in the dairy cow. Lameness has been associated with altered keratinisation of the epidermis of the bovine hoof. Claw tissue was obtained by an in vivo claw biopsy technique. The biopsies were cultured in the presence of L-[35S]-methionine and [3H]-thymidine for measurement of protein synthesis and cell proliferation respectively.

The influence of nutritional and environmental stressors on keratinisation in the claw was investigated. Protein synthesis was found to be significantly higher after challenge with these factors. It was not clear, however, if this was an effect of challenge or the biopsy procedure itself.

Physiological and endocrinological changes associated with pregnancy and lactation also appeared to have an effect on claw keratinisation. In a long-term developmental study of first-calving heifers changes in cell proliferation and protein synthesis were related to reproductive state. A dramatic seasonal effect on claw cell biology was also demonstrated. The keratinocytes were actively proliferating and keratinising during the summer months but were quiescent during the winter.

A final study investigated the cell biological changes which occur in the claw during the onset, development and recovery stages of weight-bearing challenge and the effects of concrete flooring. During challenge cell proliferation increased significantly in claw subjected to weight-bearing. The tissue may have been responding to challenge, however, the biopsy procedure itself could also have had an effect due to the short-time period between samplings.

To conclude, altered keratinisation in the claw may be related to physiological and endocrinological changes associated with season and reproduction. However, changes in management may also be important and further investigation is required.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Hannah Research Institute, Ayr
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture > SF600 Veterinary Medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Knight, Prof. Chris and Wilde, Dr. Colin
Date of Award: 1999
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:1999-2197
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2010
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 10:34
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2197

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