Acta Vet. Brno 2015, 84: 133-140

Oxidative stress and antioxidant status in dairy cows during prepartal and postpartal periods

Jana Konvičná1, Mária Vargová1, Iveta Paulíková1, Gabriel Kováč1, Zuzana Kostecká2

1University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Clinic of Ruminants, Košice, Slovak Republic
2University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Košice, Slovak Republic

Received October 1, 2014
Accepted January 14, 2015

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the indicators of oxidative stress (malondialdehyde [MDA]) and antioxidant status (ferric reducing ability of plasma [FRAP]; superoxide dismutase [SOD]; glutathione peroxidase [GSH-Px]; selenium [Se]; vitamin E) in dairy cows of the Slovak Pied cattle from 3 weeks before parturition to 9 weeks after parturition. The mean MDA concentration was significantly (P < 0.001) higher in the cows 1 week after calving compared to the cows 3, 6, and 9 weeks after calving. The lowest mean FRAP value was found in the cows 3 weeks after parturition. The SOD activities were increased during the whole monitored time (ANOVA, P < 0.001). A significant (P < 0.05) decrease of GSH-Px activities was recorded in the cows 1 week after calving compared to the weeks 6 and 9 after calving. Statistical multiple comparison test showed no significant changes in Se between the examined groups. The lowest mean vitamin E concentration was found in the first week after parturition. Significantly positive correlations (P < 0.05) were recorded between Se and vitamin E (r = 0.897), SOD and GSH-Px (r = 0.903), while Se and GSH-Px had no significantly positive correlation (r = 0.520). Significant changes between MDA and indicators of oxidative stress (SOD, GSH-Px, vitamin E) confirm that during parturition and onset of lactation, oxidative stress occurs in dairy cows. Exposure of peripartal cows to oxidative stress may cause an increased incidence of metabolic diseases.


This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under contract No. APVV-0475-10 and by VEGA Scientific Grant No. 1/0592/12 from the Ministry of Education.


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