Impacts of chronic and increasing lipopolysaccharide exposure on production and reproductive parameters in lactating Holstein dairy cows.


Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames 50011. Electronic address: [Email]


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration causes immunoactivation, which negatively affects production and fertility, but experimental exposure via an acute bolus is unlikely to resemble natural infections. Thus, the objectives were to characterize effects of chronic endotoxemia on production parameters and follicular development in estrous-synchronized lactating cows. Eleven Holstein cows (169 ± 20 d in milk; 681 ± 16 kg of body weight) were acclimated to their environmental surroundings for 3 d and then enrolled in 2 experimental periods (P). During P1 (3 d) cows consumed feed ad libitum and baseline samples were obtained. During P2 (7 d), cows were assigned to continuous infusion of either (1) saline-infused and pair-fed (CON-PF; 40 mL/h of saline i.v.; n = 5) or (2) LPS infused and ad libitum fed (LPS-AL; Escherichia coli O55:B5; 0.017, 0.020, 0.026, 0.036, 0.055, 0.088, and 0.148 μg/kg of body weight/h i.v. on d 1 to 7, respectively; n = 6). Controls were pair-fed to the LPS-AL group to eliminate confounding effects of dissimilar nutrient intake. Infusing LPS temporally caused mild hyperthermia on d 1 to 3 (+0.49°C) relative to baseline. Dry matter intake of LPS-AL cows decreased (28%) on d 1 of P2, then progressively returned to baseline. Relative to baseline, milk yield from LPS-AL cows was decreased on d 1 of P2 (12%). No treatment differences were observed in milk yield during P2. Follicular growth, dominant follicle size, serum progesterone (P4), and follicular P4 and 17β-estradiol concentrations were similar between treatments. Serum 17β-estradiol tended to increase (115%) and serum amyloid A and LPS-binding protein were increased (118 and 40%, respectively) in LPS-AL relative to CON-PF cows. Compared with CON-PF, neutrophils in LPS-AL cows were initially increased (45%), then gradually decreased. In contrast, monocytes were initially decreased (40%) and progressively increased with time in the LPS-AL cows. Hepatic mRNA abundance of cytochrome P450 family 2 subfamily C (CYP2C) or CYP3A was not affected by LPS, nor was there a treatment effect on toll-like receptor 4 or LBP; however, acyloxyacyl hydrolase and RELA subunit of nuclear factor kappa B tended to be increased in LPS-AL cows. These data suggest lactating dairy cows become tolerant to chronic and exponentially increasing LPS infusion in terms of production and reproductive parameters.



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