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    This study was conducted to assess the link of miRNA expressions in cow's mammary gland undergoing heat stress. Twelve Holstein cows were allocated either to undergo heat stress (HS) or remain in a thermoneutral environment (non-heat stress, NS), respectively. The experiment with HS cows was carried out in August, and the experiment with NS cows was done in November. After a month, three cows from each group were slaughtered, and mammary gland samples were obtained, and then miRNA were extracted from the samples for later sequencing. From the miRNA-seq, we obtained a total of 124 differentially expressed miRNAs in HS and NS cows' mammary gland. The differentially expressed miRNA could be predicted to influence multiple target genes. The target interleukin-1 (IL-1), which play a role in regulating the function of mammary gland in dairy cows, could be affected by bta-let-7c, bta-let-7e, bta-miR-181d, bta-miR-452, and bta-miR-31. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis showed that mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway plays an important role in the mammary glands of dairy cows and bta-miR-25 and bta-miR-382 may influence MAPK pathway through c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) gene to affect the function of mammary gland in HS cows. In conclusion, this study characterized expression profile of miRNAs in the Holstein cows' mammary gland under summer heat stress or not. We observed miRNA expression during heat stress, which was significantly different from non-heat stress states. A comprehensive analysis of the miRNA's expression will be helpful to further study the link of miRNAs with mechanisms regulating heat stress in the cow mammary gland.


    Caiyun Fan, Ruiting Hu, Haixiao Fan, Ying Yang, Bin Gong, Shaoze Zhang, Jianping Ding, Yanjing Su, Zhao Zhuo, Jianbo Cheng. Effects of seasonal ambient heat stress on expression of microRNAs in the mammary gland of Holstein cows. International journal of biometeorology. 2021 Feb;65(2):235-246

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    PMID: 33118114

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