To verify the potential relevance of proinflammatory cytokine (PIC) with periparturient health problems and performances, the changes of plasma interleukin-1beta (IL-1 beta) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) have been investigated in 21 Holstein-Friesian cows from 35 d before to 28 d after parturition. The overall PIC concentration was higher during late pregnancy compared to the first month of lactation, but showed a high variability among the cows. Therefore, cows were retrospectively divided in 3 groups according to the values of area under the concentration curve of IL-1 beta concentrations from -35 d before to the day of parturition and designated as up (UPIL1), intermediate (INIL1) and low (LOIL1) IL-1 beta group. The concentrations of IL-6 and to some extent the concentrations of albumin and reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) were well related to the grouping based on IL-1 beta concentrations. After calving the UPIL1 cows showed a more severe acute phase reaction (APR), based on the marked increase of haptoglobin and the lower plasma albumin concentrations during the first week of lactation, and the highest oxidative stress, based on the higher concentrations of ROMs. Moreover, the UPIL1 group showed higher number of mastitis, lower feed intake and milk yield compared with INIL1 and LOIL1. Our results demonstrated that cows with the highest PIC concentrations in the last month of pregnancy showed the worse health status in early lactation (clinical and subclinical problems) and a lower milk yield. Thus, these data support the utility of PIC measurement in late pregnancy as prognostic markers for a risky transition period.
- Pro-inflammatory cytokines