Whole blood transcriptome analysis in feedlot cattle after 35 days of supplementation with a β1-adrenergic agonist

  • Rachel M. Burrack
  • Erin M. Duffy
  • Dustin T. Yates
  • Ty B. Schmidt
  • Jessica L. PetersenEmail author
Animal Genetics • Short Communication


Ractopamine HCl (RHC) is supplemented to feedlot cattle to improve feed efficiency and increase carcass weight. Supplementation of RHC clearly benefits livestock production, but it is of note that the adrenergic system through which it acts is typically associated with stress. The purpose of this study was to identify changes in the transcriptome of whole blood in RHC-supplemented feedlot cattle. We hypothesized that transcripts related to inflammatory processes would be upregulated after 35 days of dietary RHC supplementation. To test this hypothesis, RNA from whole blood collected from 16 cattle before and after supplementation with 300 mg/day of RHC was sequenced using 3′ tag-seq. Eight transcripts were differentially expressed (Adjp < 0.10) between pre- and post-supplementation blood samples. Although several of these transcripts including IFI35, TYROBP, and TP53INP1 are associated with inflammation, a systemic dysregulation of inflammatory pathways was not evident. These data provide insight into the response of cattle to RHC supplementation that will direct future studies examining how the transcriptome of whole blood and other tissues responds during acute exposure to RHC and how this supplement mechanistically improves growth performance.


Ractopamine HCl Tag-seq Stress response Inflammation 


Funding information

This research was supported by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Layman award and by the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station with funding from the Hatch Multistate Research capacity funding program (Accession Number 1011055) from the United States Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, at which the studies were conducted. The University of Nebraska is accredited by AAALAC International.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13353_2019_527_MOESM1_ESM.docx (41 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 40 kb)


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Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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