Objective—To investigate effects of intramammary administration of prednisolone on the immune response of mammary glands in cows.
Animals—5 lactating Red Holsteins.
Procedures—Cows received a different intramammary infusion in each mammary gland (10 mg of prednisolone, 100 μg of lipopolysaccharide [LPS], 100 μg of LPS and 10 mg of prednisolone, or saline [0.9% NaCl] solution). Milk samples were collected before (time 0) and 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, and 36 hours after treatment. Somatic cell count (SCC), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, and concentrations of serum albumin (SA) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in milk and mRNA expression of TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-8, and IL-1β in milk somatic cells were analyzed.
Results—Saline solution or prednisolone did not change SCC, LDH activity, and SA and TNF-α concentrations in milk and mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-8 in milk somatic cells. The SCC and TNF-α concentration in milk increased similarly in glands infused with LPS, independent of prednisolone administration. However, the increase of LDH activity and SA concentration in milk after LPS infusion was diminished by prednisolone administration. The mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-8, and IL-1β in milk somatic cells increased after LPS infusion and was unaffected by prednisolone.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intramammary administration of prednisolone did not induce an immune response and did not change mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-8, and L-1β during the response to intramammary administration of LPS. However, prednisolone reduced disruption of the blood-milk barrier. This could influence the severity and cure rate of mastitis.