Physiological responses of Holstein calves to heat stress and dietary supplementation with a postbiotic from Aspergillus oryzae
Sci Rep. 2022 Jan 28;12(1):1587. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-05505-3.
Increased ambient temperature causes heat stress in mammals, which affects physiological and molecular functions. We have recently reported that the dietary administration of a postbiotic from Aspergillus oryzae (AO) improves tolerance to heat stress in fruit flies and cattle. Furthermore, heat-induced gut dysfunction and systemic inflammation have been ameliorated in part by nutritional interventions. The objective of this study was to characterize the phenotypic response of growing calves to heat stress compared to thermoneutral ad libitum fed and thermoneutral feed-restricted counterparts and examining the physiologic alterations associated with the administration of the AO postbiotic to heat-stressed calves with emphasis on intestinal permeability. In this report, we expand previous work by first demonstrating that heat stress reduced partial energetic efficiency of growth in control (45%) but not in AO-fed calves (62%) compared to thermoneutral animals (66%). While heat stress increased 20% the permeability of the intestine, AO postbiotic and thermoneutral treatments did not affect this variable. In addition, AO postbiotic reduced fecal water content relative to thermoneutral and heat stress treatments. Heat stress increased plasma concentrations of serum amyloid A, haptoglobin and lipocalin-2, and administration of AO postbiotic did not ameliorate this effect. In summary, our findings indicated that heat stress led to reduced nutrient-use efficiency and increased systemic inflammation. Results suggest that the AO postbiotic improved energy-use efficiency, water absorption, and the intestinal permeability in heat stress-mediated increase in gut permeability but did not reduce heat stress-mediated rise in markers of systemic inflammation.