The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of increasing dietary supplementation of crushed sunflower seed (CSS) in the diet of dairy cows on the fatty acid (FA) composition of phospholipids and sphingomyelin in milk, and on mammary transcription of genes that are important for sphingomyelin de novo synthesis. Four groups of 6 cows received diets supplemented with CSS at 0% (control), or 5, 10, or 15% of dry matter for a 5-wk experimental period. Milk samples and mammary biopsies were collected at the end of the experiment. Phospholipid concentration in milk fat decreased linearly with CSS supplementation. Sphingomyelin concentration in milk fat was unaffected by CSS supplementation. Daily yield of phospholipids decreased linearly with CSS supplementation. Daily yield of sphingomyelin was not significantly affected. The CSS supplementation linearly increased the proportion of monounsaturated FA in milk phospholipids. The major isomer incorporated into phospholipids was C18:1 (n-9 cis), which showed a linear increase with CSS supplementation. The C22:0 proportion in sphingomyelin increased linearly with CSS supplementation and constituted between 15.2 to 25.4% of total FA in sphingomyelin. However, CSS supplementation linearly decreased C23:0 sphingomyelin. Mammary transcription of serine palmitoyl transferase, long chain subunit 1 and subunit 2, the rate-limiting enzymes in ceramide synthesis, showed a linear decrease with increasing CSS supplementation. In conclusion, the data showed that dietary supplementation of CSS linearly increased the proportion of unsaturated FA and monounsaturated FA in milk phospholipids with no effect on phospholipid concentration. In addition, CSS supplementation linearly decreased n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid proportion in sphingomyelin. The results further showed that mammary transcription of important genes for sphingomyelin de novo synthesis is regulated by lipid supplementation.
- Mammary lipogenesis
- Fatty acid composition