The role of altered immune function during the dry period in promoting the development of subclinical ketosis in early lactation

Matteo Mezzetti, Andrea Minuti, Fiorenzo Piccioli Cappelli, M. Amadori, M. Bionaz, Erminio Trevisi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

15 Citazioni (Scopus)


Subclinical ketosis (SCK) may impair white blood cell (WBC) function and thus contribute to the risk of disease postpartum. This preliminary study investigated changes occurring in the immune system before disease onset to elucidate their role in the occurrence of SCK. A group of 13 Holstein dairy cows were housed in tie-stalls and retrospectively divided into 2 groups based on their levels of β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) measured in plasma between calving day and 35 d from calving (DFC). Levels of BHB <1.4 mmol/L were found in 7 cows (control cows, CTR group) and levels >1.4 mmol/L were found in 6 cows at ≥1 of 6 time points considered (cows with SCK, KET group). From −48 to 35 DFC, body condition score, body weight, dry matter intake, rumination time, and milk yield were measured, and blood samples were collected regularly to assess the hematochemical profile and test the WBC function by ex vivo challenge assays. Data were submitted for ANOVA testing using a mixed model for repeated measurements that included health status and time and their interactions as fixed effects. Compared with CTR cows, KET cows had more pronounced activation of the immune system (higher plasma concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, myeloperoxidase, and oxidant species, and greater IFN-γ responses to Mycobacterium avium), higher blood concentrations of γ-glutamyl transferase, and lower plasma concentrations of minerals before calving. Higher levels of nonesterified fatty acids, BHB, and glucose were detected in KET cows than in CTR cows during the dry period. The effect observed during the dry period was associated with a reduced dry matter intake, reduced plasma glucose, and increased fat mobilization (further increases in nonesterified fatty acids and BHB) during early lactation. A reduced milk yield was also detected in KET cows compared with CTR. The KET cows had an accentuated acute-phase response after calving (with greater concentrations of positive acute-phase proteins and lower concentrations of retinol than CTR cows) and impaired liver function (higher blood concentrations of glutamate–oxaloacetate transaminase and bilirubin). The WBC of the KET cows, compared with CTR cows, had a reduced response to an ex vivo stimulation assay, with lower production of proinflammatory cytokines and greater production of lactate. These alterations in the WBC could have been driven by the combined actions of metabolites related to the mobilization of lipids and the occurrence of a transient unresponsive state against stimulation aimed at preventing excessive inflammation. The associations identified here in a small number of cows in one herd should be investigated in larger studies.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)9241-9258
Numero di pagine18
RivistaJournal of Dairy Science
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid
  • Animals
  • Bilirubin
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Female
  • Glucose
  • Health Status
  • Inflammation
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Ketosis
  • Lactation
  • Lipids
  • Milk
  • Postpartum Period
  • Retrospective Studies
  • dry period
  • immune response
  • inflammation
  • liver function


Entra nei temi di ricerca di 'The role of altered immune function during the dry period in promoting the development of subclinical ketosis in early lactation'. Insieme formano una fingerprint unica.

Cita questo