Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 156, Issue 1, pp 96–110

Effects of Feeding Selenium-Enriched Alfalfa Hay on Immunity and Health of Weaned Beef Calves

  • Jean A. Hall
  • Gerd Bobe
  • William R. Vorachek
  • Hugejiletu
  • M. Elena Gorman
  • Wayne D. Mosher
  • Gene J. Pirelli
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12011-013-9843-0

Cite this article as:
Hall, J.A., Bobe, G., Vorachek, W.R. et al. Biol Trace Elem Res (2013) 156: 96. doi:10.1007/s12011-013-9843-0

Abstract

Previously, we reported that feeding selenium (Se)-enriched forage improves antibody titers in mature beef cows, and whole-blood Se concentrations and growth rates in weaned beef calves. Our current objective was to test whether beef calves fed Se-enriched alfalfa hay during the transition period between weaning and movement to a feedlot also have improved immune responses and slaughter weights. Recently weaned beef calves (n = 60) were fed an alfalfa-hay-based diet for 7 weeks, which was harvested from fields fertilized with sodium selenate at 0, 22.5, 45.0, or 89.9 g Se/ha. All calves were immunized with J-5 Escherichia coli bacterin. Serum was collected for antibody titers 2 weeks after the third immunization. Whole-blood neutrophils collected at 6 or 7 weeks were evaluated for total antioxidant potential, bacterial killing activity, and expression of genes associated with selenoproteins and innate immunity. Calves fed the highest versus the lowest level of Se-enriched alfalfa hay had higher antibody titers (P = 0.02), thioredoxin reductase-2 mRNA levels (P = 0.07), and a greater neutrophil total antioxidant potential (P = 0.10), whereas mRNA levels of interleukin-8 receptor (P = 0.02), l-selectin (P = 0.07), and thioredoxin reductase-1 (P = 0.07) were lower. In the feedlot, calves previously fed the highest-Se forage had lower mortality (P = 0.04) and greater slaughter weights (P = 0.02). Our results suggest that, in areas with low-forage Se concentrations, feeding beef calves Se-enriched alfalfa hay during the weaning transition period improves vaccination responses and subsequent growth and survival in the feedlot.

Keywords

Gene expressionJ-5 Escherichia coli antibody titerMorbidity and mortalityNeutrophil killing assayPerformanceSelenium supplementationWeaned beef calves

Abbreviations

ACTB

Beta-actin

ADG

Average daily gain

BIRC2

Baculoviral IAP repeat-containing protein 2

BP

Base pairs

BW

Body weight

CASP4

Caspase 4

CFU

Colony-forming units

CRE

Copper-reducing equivalents

Dio

Iodothyronine deiodinases

DMSO

Dimethyl sulfoxide

FBS

Fetal bovine serum

FDA

Food and Drug Administration

FOS

FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog or c-FOS, and a member of the activator protein-1 family

GAPDH

Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase

GPx

Glutathione peroxidases

HBSS

Hank’s balanced saline solution

ICE

Interleukin 1β converting enzyme

IFN-γ

Interferon-gamma

IL-2

Interleukin 2

IL-8R

Interleukin-8 receptor

l-Sel

l-Selectin

MOI

Multiplicity of infection

NETs

Neutrophil extracellular traps

NFκB

Nuclear factor kappa B

PBS

Phosphate-buffered saline

PPM1A

Protein phosphatase magnesium-dependent 1A

qPCR

Quantitative polymerase chain reaction

RBC

Red blood cells

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

RPL19

Ribosomal protein large subunit family member-19

SDHA

Succinate dehydrogenase complex, subunit A

Se

Selenium

SeMet

Selenomethionine

SEP

Selenoproteins

TBK1

TANK-binding kinase 1

TLR4

Toll-like receptor 4

TMB

3,3’,5,5’-Tetramethyl-benzidine

TNF-α

Tumor necrosis factor α

TrxR

Thioredoxin reductases

WB

Whole-blood

YWHAZ

Tyrosine 3-monoxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein, zeta polypeptide

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean A. Hall
    • 1
  • Gerd Bobe
    • 2
    • 3
  • William R. Vorachek
    • 1
  • Hugejiletu
    • 1
    • 4
  • M. Elena Gorman
    • 1
  • Wayne D. Mosher
    • 2
  • Gene J. Pirelli
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary MedicineOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences, College of Agricultural SciencesOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.Linus Pauling InstituteOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  4. 4.College of Veterinary MedicineInner Mongolian Agricultural UniversityHohhotChina