Objective—To determine effects of infection with bovine leukosis virus (BLV) on lymphocyte proliferation and apoptosis in dairy cattle.
Animals—27 adult Holstein cows.
Procedures—Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from whole blood from lactating Holstein cows seronegative for BLV (n = 9 cows), seropositive for BLV and aleukemic (aleukemic; 9), and seropositive for BLV and persistently lymphocytotic (PL; 9). Isolated PBMCs were assayed for mitogen-induced proliferation and were analyzed by means of flow cytometry. The PBMCs from a subset of each group were assayed for apoptosis, caspase-9 activity, and expression of selected genes related to apoptosis.
Results—PL cows had significantly higher total lymphocyte counts and significantly lower proportions of T-lymphocyte populations than did BLV-negative and aleukemic cows. Both groups of BLV-infected cows had significantly higher proportions of B cells and major histocompatibility complex II–expressing cells than did BLV-negative cows. Proliferation with concanavalin A was significantly lower for PL cows, compared with proliferation for BLV-negative cows. Pokeweed mitogen–induced proliferation was significantly higher for aleukemic and PL cows than for BLV-negative cows. Gene expression of apoptosis-inhibitory proteins BCL2 and BCL2L1 was significantly higher for aleukemic cows and expression of BCL2 was significantly higher for PL cows than for BLV-negative cows.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cattle infected with BLV had marked changes in PBMC populations accompanied by alterations in proliferation and apoptosis mechanisms. Because the relative distribution and function of lymphocyte populations are critical for immune competence, additional studies are needed to investigate the ability of BLV-infected cattle to respond to infectious challenge.
The subclinical impact of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) on the sustainability of the US dairy industry is only now being fully recognized. Findings of recent longitudinal studies conducted in Michigan dairy herds were consistent with the results of previous studies in showing that within-herd prevalence of BLV–infected cattle was negatively associated with milk production and cow longevity. Risk factors relating to routes of hematogenous transmission such as the use of shared hypodermic needles, shared reproductive examination sleeves, and natural breeding were associated with BLV within-herd prevalence. Few US dairy producers know the prevalence of BLV-infected cattle in their herds or are aware of the insidious economic impact of BLV or the options for BLV control. As an increasing number of countries eradicate BLV from their cattle populations, restrictions on the movement of US cattle and cattle products will likely increase. Veterinarians should be aware of recent developments for screening serum and milk samples for antibodies against BLV and the results of research regarding the economic impact of BLV so they can advise their dairy clients of available alternatives for monitoring and controlling BLV infection.
Objective—To determine the effects of 2 weeks of intense exercise on expression of markers of pulmonary venous remodeling in the caudodorsal and cranioventral regions of the lungs of horses.
Procedures—Tissue samples of the caudodorsal and cranioventral regions of lungs were obtained before and after conditioning and 2 weeks of intense exercise. Pulmonary veins were isolated, and a quantitative real-time PCR assay was used to determine mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and −9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 and −2, collagen type I, tenascin-C, endothelin-1, platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Protein expression of collagen (via morphometric analysis) and tenascin-C, TGF-β, and VEGF (via immunohistochemistry) was determined.
Results—Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage was detected in 2 horses after exercise. The mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and −9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2, TGF-β, and VEGF was significantly lower in pulmonary veins obtained after exercise versus those obtained before exercise for both the caudodorsal and cranioventral regions of the lungs. Collagen content was significantly higher in tissue samples obtained from the caudodorsal regions of the lungs versus content in samples obtained from the cranioventral regions of the lungs both before and after exercise. Exercise did not alter protein expression of tenascin-C, TGF-β, or VEGF.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated 2 weeks of intense exercise did not alter expression of marker genes in a manner expected to favor venous remodeling. Pulmonary venous remodeling is complex, and > 2 weeks of intense exercise may be required to induce such remodeling.