Association between Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in RelA with Somatic Cell Count and Longevity Supports Importance of NF-¦ÊB Signalling in Cattle Health

Chen, X and Zhang, S and Cheng, Z R and Pollott, G E and Wathes, D C (2019) Association between Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in RelA with Somatic Cell Count and Longevity Supports Importance of NF-¦ÊB Signalling in Cattle Health. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 9 (1). pp. 51-64.

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Abstract

Mastitis reduces milk production and causes culling. The NF-κB transcription factor RelA plays a central regulatory role in innate immunity. This study used a candidate gene approach to investigate associations between the synonymous C/G SNP rs48035703 in RELA with somatic cell count (SCC) and survival time. Blood samples were collected from 337 Holstein-Friesian heifers on 19 farms and genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Animals were monitored from 6 months until 2340 d of age. Pedigree, milk production and disease records were obtained. Genotype frequencies were CC 0.63, CG 0.30 and GG 0.06. The C allele had a favourable additive effect on survival: average longevities from birth were CC, 1872 d; CG, 1745 d and GG 1596 d (P < 0.003). Log transformed first lactation somatic cell count (SCC)data showed a significant association with this SNP using an allele substitution model (mean residuals ± SD: GG 0.30 ± 1.263; CG 0.22 ± 0.994, CC −0.04 ± 0.803, P < 0.05). More CC cows than expected were classified as intermediate and fewer as mastitic (30.4% v 45.9%) with respect to SCC class when categorised as 0 (unaffected), 1 (intermediate) and 2 (mastitic), whereas for CG heterozygotes fewer were intermediate and more were mastitic (12.1% v 60.3%) (p = 0.05). RELA rs48035703 CC genotype cows were therefore less likely to experience a high SCC and survived longer. These results support a role for RelA in combating mammary gland infection and warrant further studies in additional populations.