Effect of Holstein genotype on innate immune and metabolic responses of heifers to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration

G. Cousillas-Boam, W. J. Weber, A. Benjamin, S. Kahl, B. J. Heins, T. H. Elsasser, D. E. Kerr, B. A. Crooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Heifers (n = 4/genotype) from unselected (stable genotype since 1964, UH) and contemporary (CH) Holsteins that differed in milk yield (6,200 and 11,100 kg milk/305 d) were used to assess the impact of selection on innate immune and acute-phase response to an endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide; LPS). Jugular catheters were implanted 24 h before LPS administration. Blood samples were collected at −1, −0.5, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 24 h relative to iv administration of 0.5 μg LPS/kg BW. Rectal body temperature (BT) was determined at these sampling times and at 5 and 7 h. Dermal biopsies were collected after the 24 h blood sample and processed to isolate fibroblasts. Plasma was analyzed for tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), serum amyloid A (SAA), xanthine oxidase (XO), and nitrate + nitrite (NOx), cortisol, glucose, and IGF-1 content. Isolated fibroblasts were exposed to IL-1β or LPS and IL-6 and IL-8 content of culture media determined. Exposure to LPS increased BTs and plasma concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6 SAA, XO, cortisol, and glucose (P < 0.05) in both genotypes. Plasma concentrations of TNF-α, XO, NOx, and glucose did not differ (P > 0.25) between the genotypes, but IL-6 and SAA concentrations were reduced (P < 0.05) in CH relative to UH heifers while cortisol and IGF-1 concentrations tended (P < 0.08) to be reduced in CH heifers. After 36 h exposure to LPS, concentrations of IL-6 were greater (P < 0.05) in culture media from incubations of CH than UH fibroblasts but concentrations of IL-8 did not differ between genotypes. There was a trend (P = 0.08) for IL-8 concentrations to be reduced in media from CH fibroblasts exposed to IL-1β for 24 h but IL-6 concentrations did not differ between genotypes. Results indicate 50 yr of selection has reduced the robustness of the innate immune and acute-phase response to LPS in the contemporary Holstein heifer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106374
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Acute-phase response
  • Holstein
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Milk genotype

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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