Effects of intravenous infusion of E. coli lipopolysaccharide in early pregnant cows

in Reproduction
Correspondence should be addressed to K Herzog; Email: kathrin.herzog@laves.niedersachsen.de

*(K Herzog and L Debertolis contributed equally to this work)

(K Herzog is now at Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Oldenburg, Germany)

The objective was to characterize effects of Escherichia coli LPS (given i.v.) on corpus luteum (CL) and embryonic viability in early pregnant cattle. Eight non-lactating German Holstein cows were given 0.5 µg/kg LPS on 35 ± 3 day (mean ± s.e.m.) of pregnancy, whereas seven heifers, 41 ± 6 day pregnant, were given 10 mL saline (control group). Transrectal B-mode examinations of the CL were done at −1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h relative to treatment. Blood samples were collected at −1, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h. At 12 and 48 h, the CL was biopsied. None of the cows still in the experiment 10 day after LPS (n = 7) had embryonic loss. In LPS-treated cows, luteal area decreased (from 4.1 to 3.1 cm2; P ≤ 0.05) within 6 h and until 48 h. Luteal blood flow decreased by 39% (P ≤ 0.05) within the first 6 h after LPS, but returned to pre-treatment values by 48 h. Plasma P4 decreased by 62% (P ≤ 0.05), reached a nadir (2.7 ± 0.6 ng/mL) at 12 h after LPS and was not restored to pre-treatment (P ≤ 0.05). In luteal tissue, mRNAs for STAR and for FGF1 were lower (P ≤ 0.05) in LPS than in saline-treated cattle at 12 h, with no difference between groups at 48 h. Levels of mRNAs for CASP3 and FGF2 were not different between groups (P > 0.05) at 12 or 48 h after treatment. In conclusion, LPS transiently suppressed CL function, but did not induce embryonic mortality.


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    Median ± MAD of luteal tissue area (panel A) and mean ± s.e.m. of luteal blood flow (panel B) in early pregnant cattle treated with E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS; −1 to 12 h: n = 8, 24–96 h: n = 7) or Saline (n = 7), respectively. *Values differed between LPS- and Saline-treated cattle (P ≤ 0.05). a,bWithin LPS-treated cattle, values without a common superscript differed (P ≤ 0.05).

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    Median ± MAD of serum progesterone (panel A) and PGFM concentration (panel B) in early pregnant cattle treated with E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS;−1 to 12 h: n = 8, 24–96 h: n = 7) or Saline (n = 7), respectively. *Values differed between LPS- and Saline-treated cattle (P ≤ 0.05). a,b,A,BWithin LPS-treated cattle, values without a common superscript differed (P ≤ 0.05).

  • View in gallery

    Mean ± s.e.m. levels of mRNA for STAR (panel A), CASP3 (panel B), FGF1 (panel C) and FGF2 (panel D) 12 and 48 h after infusion of E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS; dark bars) or Saline (NaCl; gray bars) in early pregnant cattle. *Values differed between LPS- and Saline-treated cattle within a sampling period (i.e. 12 or 48 h) (P ≤ 0.05). a,bWithin LPS-treated cattle, values without a common superscript differed (P ≤ 0.05).


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