Colostrum intake is a key factor for newborn ruminant survival because the placenta does not allow the transfer of immune components. Therefore, newborn ruminants depend entirely on passive immunity transfer from the mother to the neonate, through the suckling of colostrum. Understanding the importance of specific colostrum proteins has gained significant attention in recent years. However, proteomics studies of sheep colostrum and their uptake in neonate lambs has not yet been presented. The aim of this study was to describe the proteomes of sheep colostrum and lamb blood plasma, using sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE for protein separation and in-gel digestion, followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry of resulting tryptic peptides for protein identification. An isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based proteomics approach was subsequently used to provide relative quantification of how neonatal plasma protein concentrations change as an effect of colostrum intake. The results of this study describe the presence of 70 proteins in the ovine colostrum proteome. Furthermore, colostrum intake resulted in an increase of 8 proteins with important immune functions in the blood plasma of lambs. Further proteomic studies will be necessary, particularly using the selected reaction monitoring approach, to describe in detail the role of specific colostrum proteins for immune transfer to the neonate.
- Isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)