Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

Dr. Glen Aiken

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Barrett

Abstract

Twenty-four steers were grazed on endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum)-infected [[Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh]; E+] tall fescue (TF) and exposed to ergot alkaloids for an 106-d grazing period. Cattle were removed from pasture, placed in dry lots, and fed a non-toxic diet to evaluate changes in vascular contraction relative to time-off E+ TF pasture. Lateral saphenous veins (SV) were biopsied from steers at 0-, 21-, 42-, and 63-d off TF pasture and from 6 control steers at 0- and 63-d off bermudagrass (BG) pasture. To evaluate contractile response, biopsied SV were exposed to increasing concentrations of ergotamine in a multimyograph. Cross-sectional scans of the caudal artery were taken using color Doppler ultrasonography on 0-, 8-, 15-, 21-, 29-, 36-, 42-, and 45-d to determine artery luminal area. Contractility of SV was less for TF than BG steers on d 0, but was similar between the two treatments by d 63. Luminal areas of the caudal arteries in E+ TF steers relaxed over time and were similar to BG steers by 36 d off pastures. Results indicated that alkaloid-induced vasoconstriction in cattle grazed on E+ TF can be relaxed in 5 to 6 weeks after they are placed on non-toxic diets.

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