The objective of this study was to investigate the measurement of serum fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21), a protein mainly synthesized by the liver, as a sensitive biomarker for diagnosis of ketosis in dairy cows. Ninety Holstein–Friesian dairy cows (60 healthy and 30 ketosis cases) were selected and divided into a Ketosis group (K), and a Control group (C). We measured serum FGF-21 and other biochemical parameters by commercial ELISA kits. In a combined population of all 90 cows, we found that serum FGF-21 level was lower (P < 0.001) in cows suffering from ketosis. When the β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) level increased over 1.2 mmol/L, the FGF-21 level tended to decline below 300.85 pg/ml. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC) for serum FGF-21 for diagnosis of fatty liver was 0.952–0.025 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.904, 1.000] which was higher than the AUC-ROC for glucose (Glc) and other tested parameters. We concluded that FGF-21 could be a diagnostic parameter in the evaluation and auxiliary diagnosis of changes in the energy metabolism state, and serum FGF-21 measurement would have a considerable clinical impact and lead to greater profitability in the dairy industry.
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This research was supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China (31372625), National Key Technology Support Program (2013BAD21B01), The Fok Ying-Tong Education Foundation, China (141021), and New Century Excellent Talents in University (1252-NCET-003). I would like to thank Thomas A. Gavin, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, for help with editing the English in this paper.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Chuang Xu and Qiushi Xu contributed equally to this work.
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Xu, C., Xu, Q., Chen, Y. et al. FGF-21: promising biomarker for detecting ketosis in dairy cows. Vet Res Commun 40, 49–54 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11259-015-9650-5
- Serum FGF-21
- Blood metabolites