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Am J Vet Res. 2001 Jul;62(7):1020-4.

Effects of subclinical pregnancy toxemia on immune responses in sheep.

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1
Istituto di Zootecnia, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Am J Vet Res 2001 Sep;62(9):1446.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effects of moderate feed restriction, single or twin pregnancy, and subclinical pregnancy toxemia (PT) on immune responses of ewes.

ANIMALS:

16 Sardinian ewes.

PROCEDURE:

Six weeks before lambing, ewes were assigned to 1 of 2 groups (n = 8/group) matched for number of fetuses, body condition score, and plasma glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), and beta hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) concentrations, and feed intake was restricted for 1 of the groups. Cell-mediated immunity was evaluated in vivo and in vitro. Humoral immunity was evaluated in vivo by determining production of IgG antibodies against keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH).

RESULTS:

Four ewes developed subclinical PT (plasma BHBA concentration > 0.86 mmol/L without any clinical signs of disease). Whether feed was restricted and type of pregnancy (single vs twin) did not have any significant effects on cell-mediated and humoral immune responses. Ewes with subclinical PT had significantly lower in vitro proliferation of phytohemagglutinin-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells and significantly lower values for KLH-specific IgG than did healthy ewes. Plasma BHBA and NEFA concentrations were negatively correlated with in vitro proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells; plasma NEFA concentration was negatively correlated with values for KLH-specific IgG.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Results suggest that subclinical PT may be associated with impairments in cell-mediated and humoral immune responses in sheep.

PMID:
11453474
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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