Maternal supplementation with cobalt sources, folic acid, and rumen-protected methionine and its effects on molecular and functional correlates of the immune system in neonatal Holstein calves

M. G. Lopes, A. S. Alharthi, V. Lopreiato, E. Abdel-Hamied, Y. Liang, D. N. Coleman, H. Dai, M. N. Corrêa, M. T. Socha, M. A. Ballou, E. Trevisi, J. J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Calves born to multiparous Holstein cows fed during the last 30 d of pregnancy 2 different cobalt sources [cobalt glucoheptonate (CoPro) or cobalt pectin (CoPectin)], folic acid (FOA), and rumen-protected methionine (RPM) were used to study neonatal immune responses after ex vivo lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. Groups were (n = 12 calves/group) CoPro, FOA+CoPro, FOA+CoPectin, and FOA+CoPectin+RPM. Calves were weighed at birth and blood collected at birth (before colostrum), 21 d of age, and 42 d of age (at weaning). Growth performance was recorded once a week during the first 6 wk of age. Energy metabolism, inflammation, and antioxidant status were assessed at birth through various plasma biomarkers. Whole blood was challenged with 3 µg/mL of LPS or used for phagocytosis and oxidative burst assays. Target genes evaluated by real-time quantitative PCR in whole blood samples were associated with immune response, antioxidant function, and 1-carbon metabolism. The response in mRNA abundance in LPS challenged versus nonchallenged samples was assessed via Δ = LPS challenged − LPS nonchallenged samples. Phagocytosis capacity and oxidative burst activity were measured in neutrophils and monocytes, with data reported as ratio (percentage) of CD14 to CH138A-positive cells. Data including all time points were subjected to ANOVA using PROC MIXED in SAS 9.4 (SAS Institute Inc.), with Treatment, Sex, Age, and Treatment × Age as fixed effects. A 1-way ANOVA was used to determine differences at birth, with Treatment and Sex as fixed effects. Calf birth body weight and other growth parameters did not differ between groups. At birth, plasma haptoglobin concentration was lower in FOA+CoPro compared with CoPro calves. We detected no effect for other plasma biomarkers or immune function due to maternal treatments at birth. Compared with CoPro, in response to LPS challenge, whole blood from FOA+CoPectin and FOA+CoPectin+RPM calves had greater mRNA abundance of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1). No effect for other genes was detectable. Regardless of maternal treatments, sex-specific responses were observed due to greater plasma concentrations of haptoglobin, paraoxonase, total reactive oxygen metabolites, nitrite, and β-carotene in female versus male calves at birth. In contrast, whole blood from male calves had greater mRNA abundance of IRAK1, CADM1, and ITGAM in response to LPS challenge at birth. The longitudinal analysis of d 0, 21, and 42 data revealed greater bactericidal permeability-increasing protein (BPI) mRNA abundance in whole blood from FOA+CoPectin versus FOA+CoPro calves, coupled with greater abundance in FOA+CoPro compared with CoPro calves. Regardless of maternal treatments, most genes related to cytokines and cytokine receptors (IL1B, IL10, TNF, IRAK1, CXCR1), toll-like receptor pathway (TLR4, NFKB1), adhesion and migration (ICAM1, ITGAM), antimicrobial function (MPO), and antioxidant function (GPX1) were downregulated over time. Phagocytosis capacity and oxidative burst activity in both neutrophils and monocytes did not differ due to maternal treatment. Regardless of maternal treatments, we observed an increase in the percentage of neutrophils capable of phagocytosis and oxidative burst activity over time. Overall, these preliminary assessments suggested that maternal supplementation with FOA and Co combined with RPM had effects on a few plasma biomarkers of inflammation at birth and molecular responses associated with inflammatory mechanisms during the neonatal period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9340-9354
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume104
Issue number8
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • methyl donors
  • neonatal immunity
  • nutritional programming
  • vitamin B

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