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Localization of carbonic anhydrase in the goat mammary gland during involution and lactogenesis

, : Localization of carbonic anhydrase in the goat mammary gland during involution and lactogenesis. Journal of Dairy Research 65(1): 43-54

The aim of this study was to determine whether carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity in goat mammary capillaries is regulated mainly by local or systemic mechanisms. One gland was dried before the contralateral gland, and after parturition only one gland was milked. Biopsies were taken from the mammary glands of three goats at 14 d intervals during involution and the start of the following lactation. A histochemical method was used to visualize sites of CA activity. To follow the involution process, milk (liquid) samples were taken from both teats each week and analysed for pH and composition. The time course of CA activity disappearance and reappearance in the capillaries was related to changes in milk composition and alveolar area. A dense network of capillaries showing membrane-bound staining for CA was found surrounding the alveoli in the lactating gland. CA activity gradually decreased in the drying gland, although the other gland was being milked. After 8 weeks involution the dried gland had a significantly lower number of stained capillaries than the milked gland. Almost no stained capillaries were found during late pregnancy, when both glands were dried and the tissue growth maximal. During lactation milk pH was 6.6 +/- 0.3 and this increased to 7.0 +/- 0.1 in the course of involution. In the last trimester of pregnancy the pH returned to its lower value, while the mammary gland was devoid of stained capillaries. Therefore, the capillary CA could not have been directly involved in the pH regulation of milk. The CA activity reappeared in the capillaries directly after delivery, but only in the milked gland. Clearly the regulation of CA activity is influenced more by local than by systemic factors and is associated with the metabolic activity of milk secretion.


PMID: 9513055

DOI: 10.1017/s0022029997002537

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