Since the discovery of leptin secreted from adipocytes, specialized tissues and cells have been found that secrete the several peptides (or cytokines) that are characterized to negatively and positively regulate the metabolic process. Different types of adipokines, hepatokines, and myokines, which act as cytokines, are secreted from adipose, liver, and muscle tissue, respectively, and have been identified and examined for their physiological roles in humans and disease in animal models. Recently, various studies of these cytokines have been conducted in ruminants, including dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, and goat. Interestingly, a few cytokines from these tissues in ruminants play an important role in the post-parturition, lactation, and fattening (marbling) periods. Thus, understanding these hormones is important for improving nutritional management in dairy cows and beef cattle. However, to our knowledge, there have been no reviews of the characteristics of these cytokines in beef and dairy products in ruminants. In particular, lipid and glucose metabolism in adipose tissue, liver tissue, and muscle tissue are very important for energy storage, production, and synthesis, which are regulated by these cytokines in ruminant production. In this review, we summarize the physiological roles of adipokines, hepatokines, and myokines in ruminants. This discussion provides a foundation for understanding the role of cytokines in animal production of ruminants.
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