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Glucocorticoid receptor down-regulation in neutrophils of periparturient cows

Mara T. PreislerDepartments of Animal Science Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.
Present address is Department of Physiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53705..

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Patty S. D. WeberDepartments of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

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Robert J. TempelmanDepartments of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

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Ron J. ErskineLarge Animal Clinical Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

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Henry HuntUSDA-ARS Avian Diseases and Oncology Research Laboratory, 3603 E Mt Hope Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823.

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Jeanne L. BurtonDepartments of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of parturition on glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression in neutrophils, serum cortisol concentration, and total blood leukocyte and neutrophil counts in periparturient dairy cows.

Animals—23 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected from 8 multiparous and 5 primiparous periparturient cows at various times from 28 days before parturition until 14 days after parturition. Glucocorticoid receptor expression in neutrophils, serum cortisol concentration, and total blood leukocyte and neutrophil counts were determined. Results were compared with results from control samples obtained from 5 multiparous and 5 primiparous Holstein cows in midpregnancy.

Results—Neutrophils from periparturient cows had 49% reduction in GR expression at calving, compared with GR expression 2 to 4 weeks before calving, and 39% reduction, compared with neutrophils from cows in midpregnancy. Reduction in neutrophil GR expression began 1 week before calving and was most severe at calving and 24 hours after calving; a significant difference in GR expression was detected between primiparous and multiparous cows. Serum cortisol concentrations and total leukocyte and neutrophil counts were significantly increased at calving and returned to baseline values by 24 hours after calving. Significant negative correlations were detected between neutrophil GR expression and serum cortisol concentration, total leukocyte count, and neutrophil count.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Reduced GR expression in blood neutrophils of periparturient dairy cows was associated with increased serum cortisol concentrations, leukocytosis, and neutrophilia. Thus, GR down-regulation in neutrophils may be involved in periparturient neutrophil dysregulation and may cause increased susceptibility to mastitis. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:14–19)

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of parturition on glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression in neutrophils, serum cortisol concentration, and total blood leukocyte and neutrophil counts in periparturient dairy cows.

Animals—23 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected from 8 multiparous and 5 primiparous periparturient cows at various times from 28 days before parturition until 14 days after parturition. Glucocorticoid receptor expression in neutrophils, serum cortisol concentration, and total blood leukocyte and neutrophil counts were determined. Results were compared with results from control samples obtained from 5 multiparous and 5 primiparous Holstein cows in midpregnancy.

Results—Neutrophils from periparturient cows had 49% reduction in GR expression at calving, compared with GR expression 2 to 4 weeks before calving, and 39% reduction, compared with neutrophils from cows in midpregnancy. Reduction in neutrophil GR expression began 1 week before calving and was most severe at calving and 24 hours after calving; a significant difference in GR expression was detected between primiparous and multiparous cows. Serum cortisol concentrations and total leukocyte and neutrophil counts were significantly increased at calving and returned to baseline values by 24 hours after calving. Significant negative correlations were detected between neutrophil GR expression and serum cortisol concentration, total leukocyte count, and neutrophil count.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Reduced GR expression in blood neutrophils of periparturient dairy cows was associated with increased serum cortisol concentrations, leukocytosis, and neutrophilia. Thus, GR down-regulation in neutrophils may be involved in periparturient neutrophil dysregulation and may cause increased susceptibility to mastitis. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:14–19)