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  • Author or Editor: Roger P. Natzke x
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Function of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (pmnl) and proliferation of lymphocytes after stimulation with mitogens were evaluated in vitro at incubation temperatures of 38.5 and 42 C, and after in vivo heat stress of lactating Holstein cows. Cytochrome-c reduction and random migration of pmnl were reduced when cells were preincubated or incubated at 42 C, but high incubation temperature had little or no effect on phagocytosis and killing of Escherichia coli. Proliferation of lymphocytes was reduced when cells were incubated for 60 hours at 42 C after stimulation with phytohemagglutinin, poke-weed mitogen, or concanavalin A. After stimulation with phytohemagglutinin, lymphocytes were most sensitive to high temperature during the first 24 hours of the 60-hour culture period. High incubation temperature had little effect on viability of cells. In vivo heat stress had no significant effect on responses of pmnl in vitro, but the decrease in proliferation of lymphocytes in vitro at high temperature was less when cells were obtained from heat-stressed cows. Total leukocyte counts in blood and somatic cell counts in milk were higher in heat-stressed cows. Results indicate that: exposure to high temperature in vitro can depress responses of pmnl and lymphocytes; apparent adaptive mechanisms induced by in vivo heat stress provide protection from effects of high temperature seen in vitro; and evidence could not be found to support the hypothesis that reduction in immune function is the basis for increases in the incidence of mastitis during the summer.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research