Objective—To evaluate immunomodulatory properties of all-trans retinoic acid and a fully oxidized β-carotene dietary product in calves with Mannheimia haemolytica–induced pneumonia.
Animals—Twenty-five 6- to 10-week-old male Holstein calves for experimental inoculations and three 8- to 30-week-old Angus heifers for blood donations.
Procedures—In vitro, neutrophils and monocyte-derived macrophages isolated from blood of healthy Angus heifers were treated with all-trans retinoic acid (1μM) or fully oxidized β-carotene (8.3 μg/mL) for various times and assessed for markers of cellular death, antimicrobial function, and production of proinflammatory leukotriene B4. Following 28 days of dietary supplementation with fully oxidized β-carotene, Holstein calves were experimentally inoculated with M haemolytica. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was collected at 3 and 24 hours after challenge inoculation and analyzed for markers of apoptosis.
Results—In vitro, all-trans retinoic acid and fully oxidized β-carotene induced cell-selective, caspase-3–dependent apoptosis in neutrophils, which subsequently enhanced efferocytosis in macrophages. Conversely, neither treatment altered phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate–induced oxidative burst, phagocytosis of nonopsonized zymosan (complement or antibody independent), or M haemolytica–induced leukotriene B4 production in bovine neutrophils. In vivo, fully oxidized β-carotene enhanced leukocyte apoptosis in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid as well as subsequent efferocytosis by macrophages without altering numbers of circulating leukocytes.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Neutrophil apoptosis and subsequent efferocytosis by macrophages are key mechanisms in the resolution of inflammation. Findings for the present study indicated that all-trans retinoic acid and fully oxidized β-carotene could be novel nutraceutical strategies that may confer anti-inflammatory benefits for cattle with respiratory tract disease.