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J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015 Jun;66(3):449-62.

Puerperal influence of bovine uterine health status on the mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory factors.

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Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals, Bernau, Germany.
Institute of Microbiology and Epizootics, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


After parturition, uterine bacterial infections lead to inflammatory processes such as subclinical/clinical endometritis with high prevalence in dairy cows. Endometrial epithelial cells participate in this immune response with the production of pro-inflammatory factors. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the endometrial mRNA expression pattern of pro-inflammatory factors during a selected postpartum (pp) period. Dairy cows with three different uterine health conditions on days 24-30 pp (healthy: n = 11, subclinical endometritis: n = 10, clinical endometritis: n = 10) were sampled using the cytobrush technique. Subsequently, each cow was sampled 3 more times in weekly intervals (days 31-37 pp; days 38-44 pp; days 45-51 pp). Samples were subjected to mRNA analysis performed by RT-qPCR. Additionally, an analysis of cultivable bacteria was performed at the early/late stage of the selected puerperal period. mRNA expression of 16 candidate genes was analyzed by using two different approaches. The first approach referred to the initial grouping on days 24-30 pp to reveal long-term effects of the uterine health on the subsequent puerperal period. The second approach considered the current uterine health status at each sampling to elucidate the impact of different points in time. Long-term effects seem to appear for chemokines, prostacyclin synthase and prostaglandin D2 synthase. If related to the current uterine health, the majority of candidate genes were significantly higher expressed in endometritic cows on days 45-51 pp in contrast to earlier stages of the puerperium. Microbiological analysis revealed the significantly higher prevalence of Trueperella pyogenes findings in cows with clinical endometritis on days 24-30 pp, but no correlations were found on days 45-51 pp. In conclusion, a strong immune response to subclinical/clinical endometritis in the late puerperium may be related to the negative impact of these conditions on reproductive performance in dairy cows.

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