Immunologic Research

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 21–38 | Cite as

Potential roles of neutrophils in maintaining the health and productivity of dairy cows during various physiological and physiopathological conditions: a review

  • Mohanned Naif AlhussienEmail author
  • Ajay Kumar Dang


Neutrophils represent the first line of innate immunity and are the most prominent line of cellular defence against invading microorganisms. On stimulation, they can quickly move through the walls of veins and into the tissues of the body to immediately attack or monitor the foreign antigens. Neutrophils are highly versatile and sophisticated cells which are endowed with highly sensitive receptor-based perception systems. They were traditionally classified as short-lived phagocytes actively involved during infection and inflammation, but recently, it has been seen that neutrophils are capable of detecting the presence of sperms during insemination as well as an implanting embryo in the female reproductive tract. These specialised phagocytes play a major role in tissue remodelling and wound healing, and maintain homeostasis during parturition, expulsion of placenta, folliculogenesis, corpus luteum formation and luteolysis. Here, we review the role played by neutrophils in maintaining homeostasis during normal and inflammatory conditions of dairy cattle. We have summarised the alteration in the expression of some cell adhesion molecules and cytokines on bovine neutrophils during different physiological and physiopathological conditions. Some emerging issues in the field of neutrophil biology and the possible strategies to strengthen their activity during the period of immunosuppression have also been discussed.


Neutrophil activity Expression Tissue remodelling Homeostasis Inflammatory disease 



Artificial insemination


Bovine leukocyte adhesion deficiency


Bovine oviduct epithelial cells


Corpus luteum

E. coli

Escherichia coli


Extracellular matrix


Female reproductive tract


Glucocorticoid receptor


Intercellular adhesion molecule-1






Interferon-stimulated gene 15




Major histocompatibility complex


Matrix metalloproteinase


Maternal recognition of pregnancy


Neutrophil extracellular trap


Platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1


Prostaglandin E2


Prostaglandin F2α


Polymorphonuclear neutrophils


Reactive oxygen species

S. aureus

Staphylococcus aureus


Somatic cell

Strep. agalactiae

Streptococcus agalactiae

T. pyogenes

Trueperella pyogenes


Tumour-associated neutrophil


Transforming growth factor


Toll-like receptor


Tumour necrosis factor


Endothelial cells



The authors are thankful to the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India for providing financial support and sanctioning various projects on neutrophils. The first author is also thankful to the Syrian University of Aleppo for granting a study leave to carry out his PhD research work.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Department of Biotechnology (Grant Number: BT/PR13016/AAQ/1/4/11/2009; DATED: 22/06/2010, BT/PR8404/AAQ/1/548/2013; DATED: 20/06/2014 and BT/PR23570/AAQ/1/691/2017; Dated: 10/05/2018), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Production Division, Agricultural CollegeAleppo UniversityAleppoSyrian Arab Republic
  2. 2.Lactation and Immuno-Physiology LaboratoryICAR-National Dairy Research InstituteKarnalIndia

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