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  • Author or Editor: Douglas C. Donovan x
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Objective—To evaluate the effects of a standardized exercise test to exhaustion in horses on leukocyte function ex vivo.

Animals—6 Thoroughbred geldings.

Procedures—Blood samples were obtained from each horse before exercise; at exhaustion (termed failure); and at 2, 6, 24, 48, and 72 hours after exercise to evaluate hematologic changes, rate of leukocyte apoptosis, and leukocyte production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) ex vivo. To assess leukocyte function, leukocyte ROS production in response to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan, zymosan, and phorbol myristate acetate was evaluated. Apoptosis was evaluated via assessment of caspase activity in leukocyte lysates.

Results—In response to lipopolysaccharide, production of ROS by leukocytes was significantly increased at 2 hours and remained increased (albeit not significantly) at 6 hours after exercise, compared with the preexercise value. In the absence of any stimulus, leukocyte ROS production was significantly increased at 6 and 24 hours after exercise. In contrast, ROS production in response to phorbol myristate acetate was significantly decreased at 6, 24, and 72 hours after exercise. Leukocyte ROS production induced by zymosan or peptidoglycan was not altered by exercise. Leukocytosis was evident for 24 hours after exercise, and neutrophilia was detected during the first 6 hours. A significant increase in the rate of leukocyte apoptosis was detected at failure and 72 hours after exercise.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that strenuous exercise undertaken by horses causes alterations in innate immune system functions, some of which persist for as long as 72 hours after exercise.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess the effect of maternal cells or cellular components on neonatal immune responses to intracellular pathogens in calves.

Animals—15 Holstein calves.

Procedures—Calves were fed whole colostrum, frozen colostrum, or cell-free colostrum within 4 hours after birth. Leukocytes were obtained from calves before feeding colostrum and 1, 2, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after ingestion. Proliferative responses against bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and mycobacterial purified protein derivatives were evaluated. Dams received a vaccine containing inactivated BVDV, but were not vaccinated against mycobacterial antigens.

Results—All calves had essentially no IgG in circulation at birth, but comparable and substantial concentrations by day 1. Calves that received whole colostrum had enhanced responses to BVDV antigen 1 and 2 days after ingestion of colostrum. In contrast, calves that received frozen colostrum or cell-free colostrum did not respond to BVDV. No differences were identified among the 3 groups in response to mycobacterial antigens.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that transfer of live maternal cells from colostrum to neonatal calves enhanced responses to antigens against which the dams had previously responded (BVDV), but not to antigens to which the dams were naïve (mycobacterial purified protein derivatives). Results suggested that cell-mediated immune transfer to neonates can be enhanced by maternal vaccination.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research