Novel Assessment of Collagen and Its Crosslink Content in the Humerus from Primiparous Dairy Cows with Spontaneous Humeral Fractures Due to Osteoporosis from New Zealand.

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Numerous cases of spontaneous humeral fracture in primiparous dairy cows from New Zealand have prompted the study of the condition to establish probable causes or risk factors associated with the condition. Previous studies identified inadequate protein-calorie malnutrition as an important contributory factor. Earlier case studies also reported that ~50% of cows have low liver and/or serum copper concentration at the time of humeral fracture. Because copper is so closely associated with the formation of collagen cross-links, the aim of this study was to compare collagen and collagen crosslink content in the humerus from primiparous cows with and without humeral fractures and to determine the role of copper in the occurrence of these fractures. Humeri were collected from cows with and without humeral fractures, ground, and the collagen and collagen cross-link content measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. Collagen content was significantly higher in the humeri of cows without humeral fractures, while total collagen crosslink content was significantly higher in the humerus of cows with humeral fractures. These results indicate other factor/s (e.g., protein-calorie undernutrition) might be more important than the copper status in the occurrence of humeral fractures in dairy cows in New Zealand.
collagen, collagen crosslink, copper deficiency, dairy cows, fracture, undernutrition
Biology (Basel), 2022, 11 (10)