Influence of energy balance on the antimicrobial peptides S100A8 and S100A9 in the endometrium of the postpartum dairy cow

Swangchan-Uthai, T and Chen, Q and Kirton, S E and Fenwick, M A and Cheng, Z and Paton, J and Fouladi-Nashta, A A and Wathes, D C (2013) Influence of energy balance on the antimicrobial peptides S100A8 and S100A9 in the endometrium of the postpartum dairy cow. REPRODUCTION, 145 (5). pp. 527-539.

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Abstract

Uterine inflammation occurs after calving in association with extensive endometrial remodelling and bacterial contamination. If the inflammation persists, it leads to reduced fertility. Chronic endometritis is highly prevalent in high-yielding cows that experience negative energy balance (NEB) in early lactation. This study investigated the effect of NEB on the antimicrobial peptides S100A8 and S100A9 in involuting uteri collected 2 weeks post partum. Holstein-Friesian cows (six per treatment) were randomly allocated to two interventions designed to produce mild or severe NEB (MNEB and SNEB) status. Endometrial samples were examined histologically, and the presence of neutrophils, macrophages, lymphocytes and natural killer cells was confirmed using haematoxylin and eosin and immunostaining. SNEB cows had greater signs of uterine inflammation. Samples of previously gravid uterine horn were used to localise S100A8 and S100A9 by immunohistochemistry. Both S100 proteins were present in bovine endometrium with strong staining in epithelial and stromal cells and in infiltrated leucocytes. Immunostaining was significantly higher in SNEB cows along with increased numbers of segmented neutrophils. These results suggest that the metabolic changes of a post-partum cow suffering from NEB delay uterine involution and promote a chronic state of inflammation. We show that upregulation of S100A8 and S100A9 is clearly a key component of the early endometrial response to uterine infection. Further studies are warranted to link the extent of this response after calving to the likelihood of cows developing endometritis and to their subsequent fertility.