Technical note: isolation and characterization of sheep ruminal epithelial cells.

R. L. Baldwin 6th., B. W. Jesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A system for the isolation and characterization of sheep ruminal epithelial cells has been developed. Ruminal papillae from the ventral cranial sac of 12- to 24-wk-old Dorset ram lambs were subjected to serial tryptic digestions. Initial digestions (two 15-min periods) in the series were used to remove keratinized cells of the stratum corneum, which were able to produce only small amounts of beta-hydroxybutyrate from butyrate (5.37 +/- .72 nmol/120 min/per milligram of dry cell weight). Later digest fractions, containing primarily cells from the stratum basale, exhibited high viabilities (75 to 95%) and proved capable of converting butyrate to beta-hydroxybutyrate at relatively high rates (33.6 +/- 6.7 nmol/120 min per milligram of dry cell weight). Neither acetate nor propionate underwent significant conversion to beta-hydroxybutyrate. However, addition of acetate inhibited (77.4% of control) and addition of propionate stimulated (200% of control) beta-hydroxybutyrate production. Acetate addition reduced the propionate-induced stimulation of beta-hydroxybutyrate production from butyrate (136% of control). These results are similar to those obtained from in vitro incubations of ruminal papillae and suggest that an isolated cell system may prove useful in the further study of ruminal epithelial metabolism.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3603-3609
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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