Title:Dynamics of adipose tissue morphology in periparturient dairy cows
During the peripartal period the dairy cow undergoes enormous metabolic changes switching from the anabolic to the catabolic status due to the onset of lactation. In early lactation the cow is in a negative energy balance in which the feed intake cannot cover the energy requirements. Therefore, cows mobilize the body´s own energy reserves. The adipose tissue is the major site of energy storage and through lipolysis it liberates fatty acids and glycerol into the blood, providing metabolic energy. Due to the lipid mobilization the morphology of adipose tissue has to be dynamically modified, e.g. by reducing cell size due to decreased lipid droplet size. The aim of this study was to investigate the morphological changes in adipose tissue during the periparturient period. As other studies provided evidence for possible differences between adipose tissue depots within the same animal, both the subcutaneous (SCAT) and retroperitoneal adipose tissue (RPAT) were examined.