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J Dairy Sci. 2007 Feb;90(2):731-9.

Effects of dietary vitamin C on neutrophil function and responses to intramammary infusion of lipopolysaccharide in periparturient dairy cows.

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1
Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster 44691, USA. weiss.6@osu.edu

Abstract

Neutrophil function and the severity and incidence of mastitis in dairy cows is related to the intake of many antioxidant nutrients. Because vitamin C is the major water-soluble antioxidant in mammals, we examined the effect of dietary vitamin C on neutrophil function and responses to intramammary infusion of lipopolysaccahride (LPS) in periparturient dairy cows. At 2 wk before anticipated calving, Holstein cows were fed diets that provided 0 (16 cows) or 30 (15 cows) g/d of supplemental vitamin C (phosphorylated ascorbic acid). Treatments continued until 7 d after cows received an infusion of 10 microg of LPS into one quarter of the mammary gland (on average, this occurred 32 d postcalving). Supplementation of vitamin C increased plasma concentrations of vitamin C at calving, but no differences were observed in samples taken 24 h postinfusion. Concentrations of vitamin C in milk (24 h postinfusion) and in neutrophils (calving and 24 h postinfusion) were not affected by treatment, but vitamin C concentrations in neutrophils isolated from milk were about 3 times greater than concentrations in blood neutrophils. The LPS infusion did not alter concentrations of vitamin C in plasma or milk, suggesting that the LPS model did not produce the same effects as a bacterial infection of the mammary gland with respect to antioxidant effects. Supplemental vitamin C had no effect on neutrophil phagocytosis or bacterial kill. Dietary vitamin C reduced the milk somatic cell count but did not affect the febrile response or milk production following LPS infusion.

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