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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCING ANIMAL WELL-BEING, IMMUNOCOMPETENCE, AND PERFORMANCE IN SWINE AND BEEF CATTLE

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Title: The influence of temperament on endotoxin-induced changes in body temperature, sickness behavior, and secretion of cortisol and epinephrine in bulls

Authors
item Burdick, Nicole - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Hulbert, Lindsey
item Carroll, Jeffery
item Randel, Ron - TEXAS AGRILIFE RESEARCH
item Vann, Rhonda - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIV
item Willard, Scott - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIV
item Caldwell, Lisa - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Loyd, Andrea - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Dailey, Jeffery
item Welsh JR., Tom - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Beef Cattle Research in Texas
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2008
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A collaborative study was conducted involving scientists from the Livestock Issues Research Unit, Mississippi State University, Texas A&M University, and the Texas AgriLife Research Center in Overton, TX, to determine if an animal's temperament would influence its innate immune response to an endotoxin challenge. For this study, 25 yearling were fitted with rectal temperature devices that measured at 1-minute intervals. Bulls were also fitted with jugular catheters and blood samples were collected and serum isolated every 30 minutes beginning 2 hours prior to and 8 hours after administration of an endotoxin for determinations of cortisol (radioimmunoassay) and epinephrine (enzyme immunoassay) concentrations. At similar time-points (-0.5 to 6 hours), sickness behavior was determined on a scale of 1 (lying on side with labored breathing) to 5 (active). Results revealed that temperament differentially affected the stress response to the immune challenge with the response of epinephrine, not cortisol, to endotoxin being affected by temperament. This data suggests that temperament affects the degree of innate immune response to an endotoxin challenge, with calm animals displaying more signs of sickness. The results of this research will be of particular interest to beef cattle feedlot managers, veterinarians managing the health of feedlot cattle, and scientists, whether from industry, academia, or industry, working in the area of beef cattle production, health, and well-being.

Technical Abstract: This study was designed to determine the influence of temperament on body temperature, sickness behavior, and the secretion of cortisol and epinephrine in response to an endotoxin challenge. Purebred Brahman bulls were selected based on temperament score measured at weaning [n=8 each Calm (C), Intermediate (I), and Temperamental (T)]. Bulls were fitted with rectal temperature (RT) devices and indwelling jugular catheters were placed in all bulls. Blood samples were collected and serum isolated every 30 minutes beginning 2 hours prior to and 8 hours after administration of lipopolysaccharide (0.5 micrograms/kg) for determination of cortisol (CS) and epinephrine (EPI) concentrations. At similar time-points (-0.5 to 6 hours), sickness behavior (SB) was determined on a scale of 1(lying on side with labored breathing) to 5 (active). Temperament differentially affects the stress response to LPS with the response of epinephrine, not cortisol, to LPS being affected by temperament. This data suggests that temperament affects the degree response to an endotoxin challenge, with calm animals displaying more signs of sickness. Therefore, this may allow for earlier treatment and therefore minimize the negative impacts of illness on growth and production.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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