Objective—To describe time-dependent changes in plasma concentrations of 3-methylindole (3MI) and blood concentrations of 3-methyleneindolenine (3MEIN)-adduct in feedlot cattle.
Animals—64 yearling steers.
Procedures—Steers were assigned to 2 groups (32 steers/group). During the first 8 weeks, blood samples were collected from group 1 before the morning ration was fed, whereas samples from group 2 were collected 2 to 3 hours after the ration was fed. Blood samples were collected from all steers approximately 4 times/wk for 3 weeks and 3 times/wk for the subsequent 5 weeks. Samples were collected at the same time for all steers for an additional 10 weeks. Plasma samples were analyzed for 3MI concentrations. Blood samples collected from cattle in group 2 during the first 8 weeks were analyzed for 3MEINadduct concentrations.
Results—Mean blood concentration of 3MEINadduct increased to a maximum value on day 33 (0.80 U/μg of protein) and then decreased to a minimum on day 54 0.40 U/μg of protein). Plasma 3MI concentrations initially decreased and remained low until after day 54. Group-1 cattle had lower plasma 3MI concentrations, compared with concentrations for group-2 cattle. Blood 3MEIN-adduct concentrations and plasma 3MI concentrations were not associated with deleterious effects on weight gains.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Blood 3MEIN-adduct concentrations peaked during the period of greatest risk for development of bovine respiratory disease complex. Conversely, plasma 3MI concentrations decreased during the same period. Animal-to-animal variation in metabolic capacity to convert 3MI to 3MEIN may be of more importance than differences in plasma 3MI concentration. Am J Vet Res (2002;63:591–597).