Neutrophil Function and Energy Status in Holstein Cows With Uterine Health Disorders

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Vet. Immunolo. and Immunopathology



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The objectives of this study were to investigate the associations between peripheral blood neutrophil (PMN) function, energy status, and uterine health in periparturient dairy cows. Data were collected from 83 multiparous Holstein cows. Blood samples for PMN function determination were collected weekly from 1 week prior to calving (week −1) through 4 weeks after calving and again at 8 weeks after calving. Energy metabolites were measured and dry matter intake (DMI) was determined from weeks −2 to 5 to evaluate energy status of cows during the periparturient period. All cows were examined for uterine health disorders. Blood PMN killing ability was evaluated by determining myeloperoxidase activity and cytochrome c reduction activity in isolated blood PMN's. For cows that were diagnosed with puerperal metritis and subclinical (SC) endometritis and puerperal metritis, blood PMN functions were significantly (P < 0.05) impaired during the periparturient period, compared to cows with normal uterine health. Cows with subclinical endometritis and puerperal metritis or SC endometritis also had significantly (P < 0.01) higher NEFA and significantly (P < 0.001) lower DMI during the periparturient period, and significantly (P < 0.05) higher BHBA during early lactation, compared to cows with normal uterine health. Neutrophil function was also significantly (P < 0.01) impaired in cows with peripartum negative energy balance, which was characterized by elevated blood levels of NEFA and decreased DMI. Decreased PMN function and energy balance were associated with uterine health disorders and the decreases in PMN function and energy balance occurred prior to parturition and prior to the detection of these uterine disorders.