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  • Author or Editor: Henrik Holst x
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Objective—To determine the effects of porcine mammary secretions on polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocyte function and to relate concentrations of estradiol-17β and cortisol in mammary secretions to PMN cell function.

Sample Population—Mammary secretions from 10 healthy sows and blood PMN leukocytes from 27 healthy sows.

Procedure—Mammary secretions were collected within 24 hours after parturition (colostrum) and 12 to 13 days later (milk). Chemoattractant properties were assessed by use of a cell migration assay. Phagocytic capacity of PMN cells in colostrum and milk was assessed by recording chemiluminescence following phagocytosis of Escherichia coli or zymosan. Estradiol-17β and cortisol concentrations were determined by use of radioimmunoassays.

Results—Chemoattractant properties of colostrum and milk were significantly greater than that of zymosan-activated serum. However, chemoattractant properties did not differ significantly between the 2 types of secretions. The capacity of PMN cells in colostrum to phagocytose either zymosan or E coli was less, compared with cells in milk, and the ability of cells in either type of mammary secretion to phagocytose E coli was greater than the ability to phagocytose zymosan. Concentrations of estradiol-17β and cortisol were greater in colostrum, compared with milk. No clear relation was evident between PMN cell activity and hormone concentrations in mammary secretions.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although chemoattractant properties of colostrum and milk did not differ, the phagocytic capacity of PMN cells in colostrum was significantly less than that of cells in milk. This may predispose sows to coliform mastitis during the early postparturient period. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1250–1254)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


The effect of mimicking prepartum concentration of estradiol-17β on the inflammatory response to endotoxin in gilts was studied. The study was performed in a split-litter design and comprised 5 pairs of littermates. A catheter was inserted into the jugular vein 2 days prior to the start of the study. In each pair, 1 littermate was treated im with 2.5 mg of estradiol-17β/75 kg of body weight, and the other littermate was given peanut oil im as a control. The day after treatment, all gilts were challenge-exposed with a Salmonella typhimurium-derived endotoxin (1 µg/kg, iv) and the inflammatory response to challenge exposure was monitored. There was no effect of estradiol treatment on the transient clinical signs of endotoxemia or on the increase in rectal temperature. The increase in blood concentrations of prostaglandin F metabolite and cortisol after endotoxin challenge exposure was not affected by estradiol. Decrease in number of circulating blood mononuclear cells and polymorphonuclear leukocytes was not changed by estradiol treatment. Taken together, mimicking prepartum concentration of estradiol did not affect either the magnitude or the kinetics of the inflammatory response to endotoxin in gilts. Relevance of these findings to development of endotoxinmediated diseases, such as the postpartum agalactia syndrome, needs further study.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research