Targeted transcript analysis revealed association of suboptimal expression of certain endometrial immunity-related genes with disparate uterine diseases in zebu cows
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The onset of uterine infection during postpartum period compromises uterine health, fertility, and productivity of dairy cattle. Endometrial innate immunity plays a key role in eliminating uterine infection and keeping the uterus healthy. Hence, the present study has been designed with the hypothesis that altered endometrial immune response around calving may compromise uterine health during postpartum period. Expression of interleukins (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-α), prostaglandin synthase (PGFS, PGES), and antimicrobial peptides (beta-defensins (BDEF-4, BDEF-5), lingual antimicrobial peptide (LAP), and calcium-binding proteins (S100A8, S100A9, and S100A12) in endometrial tissues on the day of calving was studied using qRT-PCR, and circulating concentrations of prostaglandin E and F metabolites (PGEM and PGFM) during peripartum period (on days − 7, − 4, − 1 (before calving), 0 (on the day of calving), + 1, + 4, and + 7 (post calving)) of normal (healthy) cows (n = 11) that did not develop postpartum uterine infection and cows that developed puerperal metritis (n = 7) and clinical endometritis (n = 6) were studied. Endometrial expression of IL-1β, TNF-α, BDEF-4, BDEF-5, S100A8, S100A12, and PGFS was higher (P < 0.05), and expression of IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and PGES was lower (P < 0.05) in normal (healthy) cows than puerperal metritic and clinical endometritic cows. The PGFM concentration in serum was high (P < 0.05) on days 0, + 1, and + 4 of calving in puerperal metritic cows followed by normal and clinical endometritic cows. However, PGEM concentration in serum was high (P < 0.05) during peripartum period in uterine-infected (puerperal metritic and clinical endometritic) cows compared with normal cows. From the above findings, it is concluded that higher constitutive expression of IL-1β, TNF-α, PGFS, BDEF-4, BDEF-5, S100A8, and S100A12 genes in the endometrium and lower concentration of PGEM during the period immediate to calving might be beneficial for uterine health of cows.
KeywordsAntimicrobial peptides Interleukins Postpartum uterine health Prostaglandins
The authors thank the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Government of India, the Director, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, and the Director, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, U.P., India, for providing necessary facilities and logistics support to conduct this study.
This study was funded by the National Dairy Research Institute, India.
Compliance with ethical standards
The procedures applied have been approved by the Institute Animal Ethics Committee (1705/Go/ac/13/CPCSEA).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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