Evaluation of physiologic indices in mice vaccinated with protein-ergotamine conjugates and fed an endophyte-infected fescue diet

R. L. Rice From the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442.

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G. G. Schurig From the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442.

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D. J. Blodgett From the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442.

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Abstract

Objectives

To assess effects of vaccination against fescue toxicosis on weight gain, serum prolactin and cholesterol concentrations, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in mice fed an endophyte-infected (EI) or endophyte-free (EF) fescue diet.

Animals

50 six-week-old male BALB/c mice.

Procedure

Mice were randomly allocated to the following 5 groups: 1, vaccinated intraperitoneally with a bovine serum albumin-ergotamine (EG) conjugate and fed an EI fescue diet; 2, orally vaccinated with cholera toxin (CT) subunit B-EG conjugate mixed with free CT and fed an EI fescue diet; 3, not vaccinated and fed an EI fescue diet; 4, passively vaccinated with monoclonal antibodies specific for ergovaline (EV) and fed an EI fescue diet; and 5, not vaccinated and fed an EF fescue diet.

Results

Antibodies against EG and EV were in serum of mice of groups 1 and 4, respectively. Secretory IgA and IgG coproantibodies against EG were induced in mice of group 2. Weight increased in groups 1 and 2 and tended to be increased in group 4 versus group 3. Prolactin concentration was similar in all groups; cholesterol concentration was decreased in groups 1, 3, and 4, compared with group 5. Compared with that in group 5, serum ALP activity decreased in groups 1 and 4 and was further decreased in group 1, compared with that in groups 2 and 3; it was negatively correlated with anti-EG titer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Induction of anti-EG antibodies and administration of EV monoclonal antibodies tended to increase short-term weight gain in this murine model of fescue toxicosis. However, systemic IgG antibodies against EG or EV antibodies were not protective against decreases in serum ALP activity and cholesterol concentrations. Clinical significance of decreased ALP activity associated with vaccination is unknown, but represents a worsening of a response often associated with fescue toxicosis in cattle. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1258–1262)

Abstract

Objectives

To assess effects of vaccination against fescue toxicosis on weight gain, serum prolactin and cholesterol concentrations, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in mice fed an endophyte-infected (EI) or endophyte-free (EF) fescue diet.

Animals

50 six-week-old male BALB/c mice.

Procedure

Mice were randomly allocated to the following 5 groups: 1, vaccinated intraperitoneally with a bovine serum albumin-ergotamine (EG) conjugate and fed an EI fescue diet; 2, orally vaccinated with cholera toxin (CT) subunit B-EG conjugate mixed with free CT and fed an EI fescue diet; 3, not vaccinated and fed an EI fescue diet; 4, passively vaccinated with monoclonal antibodies specific for ergovaline (EV) and fed an EI fescue diet; and 5, not vaccinated and fed an EF fescue diet.

Results

Antibodies against EG and EV were in serum of mice of groups 1 and 4, respectively. Secretory IgA and IgG coproantibodies against EG were induced in mice of group 2. Weight increased in groups 1 and 2 and tended to be increased in group 4 versus group 3. Prolactin concentration was similar in all groups; cholesterol concentration was decreased in groups 1, 3, and 4, compared with group 5. Compared with that in group 5, serum ALP activity decreased in groups 1 and 4 and was further decreased in group 1, compared with that in groups 2 and 3; it was negatively correlated with anti-EG titer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Induction of anti-EG antibodies and administration of EV monoclonal antibodies tended to increase short-term weight gain in this murine model of fescue toxicosis. However, systemic IgG antibodies against EG or EV antibodies were not protective against decreases in serum ALP activity and cholesterol concentrations. Clinical significance of decreased ALP activity associated with vaccination is unknown, but represents a worsening of a response often associated with fescue toxicosis in cattle. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1258–1262)

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