Estimation of microbial protein supply in ruminant animals based on renal and mammary purine metabolite excretion. A review
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Agricultural Research Centre of Finland, Animal Production Research, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland
Publication date: 2000-05-08
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2000;9(2):169-212
The potential of mammary and renal purine metabolite excretion as a technique for the assessment of microbial protein supply in ruminant animals is reviewed. Data reported in the literature tends to support the validity of the assumptions of the technique that purines entering the duodenum are essentially microbial in origin and that following metabolism, purine catabolites (collectively allantoin, hypoxanthine, uric acid and xanthine) are quantitatively recovered in urine. The most convincing experimental evidence suggests that secretion of purine metabolites in milk is of little value for the assessment of microbial protein supply due a mutual correlation with milk yield. In contrast, use of urinary purine metabolite excretion does appear to provide estimates of microbial protein supply that, are in general, consistent with values derived using standard in vivo procedures. However, the accuracy of this approach is largely dependent on obtaining representative samples of rumen microbes and the ability to account for variations in non-renal excretion and endogenous purine losses. In conclusion, urinary purine metabolite excretion appears to represent a valid non-invasive procedure to assess relative differences, rather than quantitative estimates of microbial protein supply in ruminant animals.
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