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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331989

Research Project: Improving Immunity, Health, and Well-Being in Cattle and Swine

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Title: In utero exposure to lipopolysaccharide alters the postnatal acute phase response in beef heifers

Author
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item Sanchez, Nicole
item Arthington, John - University Of Florida
item Nelson, Corwin - University Of Florida
item Benhamin, Aimee - University Of Vermont
item Korkmaz, Filiz - University Of Vermont
item Kerr, David - University Of Vermont
item Lancaster, Phillip - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Innate Immunity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/17/2016
Publication Date: 1/1/2017
Citation: Carroll, J.A., Sanchez, N.C., Arthington, J.D., Nelson, C.D., Benhamin, A.L., Korkmaz, F.T., Kerr, D.E., Lancaster, P.A. 2017. In utero exposure to lipopolysaccharide alters the postnatal acute phase response in beef heifers. Innate Immunity. 23(1):97-108.

Interpretive Summary: Prenatal stress has been demonstrated to influence various aspects of the postnatal stress and immune response. However, there are limited prenatal stress studies that utilize cattle as the model, none of which have directly evaluated the potential effects of prenatal immune stimulation. Our laboratory has previously reported prenatal transportation can alter the postnatal immune response in Brahman calves. While typical production stressors may alter stress and the immune response in offspring, little is known about the effects of immune challenges during gestation on the offspring in cattle. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the potential effects of a prenatal immune challenge on the postnatal immune response of heifers following a lipopolysaccharide challenge. Results from this study demonstrate that prenatal lipopolysaccharide exposure altered several aspects of the postnatal immune response in heifers. Specifically, prenatally immune challenged heifers had prolonged vaginal temperature and sickness behavior responses, had an increased and extended cytokine response, and had changes in the gene expression of neutrophils, and important cellular component of the immune system. These results demonstrate that the postnatal immune response can be significantly changed with a single low-dose immune challenge during gestation and warrants further study into the potential to prenatally program the immune system in beef cattle in a manner that would improve overall animal health. This information will be of interest to producers and scientists working in the field of beef cattle health and management.

Technical Abstract: This study was designed to determine the potential effect of prenatal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure on the postnatal acute phase response (APR) to an LPS challenge in heifers. Pregnant crossbred cows (n = 50) were separated into prenatal immune stimulation (PIS; n = 25; administered 0.1 micrograms/kg body weight LPS subcutaneously at 233 +/- 19 d of gestation) and saline groups (Control; n = 25). From these treatments, heifer calves (n = 12 PIS and 11 Control) were identified at weaning (238 +/- 15d of age) to subsequently receive an exogenous LPS challenge. On d 0, heifers were fitted with indwelling jugular catheters and vaginal temperature (VT) devices, and were moved into individual pens. On d 1, heifers were challenged i.v. with LPS (0.5 micrograms/kg body weight) at 0 h (1000h). Sickness behavior scores (SBS) were recorded and blood samples were collected at 30-min intervals from -2 to 8 h and again at 24 h relative to the LPS challenge. There was a treatment x time interaction (P < 0.001) for the change in VT (relative to 0 h) such that the change in VT was greater in CONT than PIS from 150 to 250 min (P = 0.05), yet it was greater in PIS than CONT from 355 to 440 min and from 570 to 1145 min (P = 0.05). There was also a treatment x time interaction (P = 0.02) for SBS such that scores were greater in CONT than PIS at 0.5 h (P = 0.04), yet were greater in PIS than CONT from 2.5 to 4 h post-LPS (P = 0.05). There was a tendency (P = 0.06) for a treatment x time interaction for serum concentrations of IL-6. Specifically, IL-6 concentrations were greater in PIS than CONT heifers from 5.5-6 h and from 7-8 h post-challenge (P = 0.05). These results demonstrate that a single exposure to LPS during gestation can alter the postnatal APR to LPS in heifer calves.