Breed-specific differences in the immune response to lipopolysaccharide in ewes.

Research paper by Jessalyn M JM Hadfield, Elizabeth C EC Bowdridge, Ida I Holásková, Ted H TH Elsasser, Robert A RA Dailey

Indexed on: 15 Aug '18Published on: 15 Aug '18Published in: Journal of animal science


Innate immune response to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge varies among sheep breeds. How different breeds respond to bacterial infections impacts management practices of sheep producers. Hence, clinical response, acute-phase response, and gene expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory markers in peripheral white blood cells (WBCs) were examined after an LPS challenge in Dorset and Suffolk ewes. Ewes received either PBS or 2.5 µg/kg LPS (i.v.) 4 to 5 d after onset of synchronized estrus. Blood was collected via jugular venipuncture intermittently for 24 h to determine WBC counts. Rectal temperatures and observations of behavioral/physical appearances were recorded hourly. After LPS, WBCs decreased the first hour (P = 0.0001) and rectal temperatures (P < 0.0001) increased through 4 h; both returned toward normal 6 h after challenge. Suffolk ewes exhibited greater changes in temperature (P = 0.03) and behavioral/physical responses (P < 0.0001) than Dorset ewes and had an enhanced acute-phase response demonstrated by increased concentrations of plasma haptoglobin (P = 0.04), as well as cortisol concentrations (P = 0.03). Real-time PCR was completed on buffy coat homogenates for expression of pro-inflammatory [CXCL8, IL-6, interferon gamma (IFNG), complement component 3 (C3), toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), prostaglandin synthase 2 (PTGS2)] and anti-inflammatory [IL-10, superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), forkhead box P3 (FOXP3), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG), mannose receptor C type 1 (MRC1), transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)] genes. After LPS treatment, gene expressions increased for CXCL8 (P = 0.0003), TLR4 (P = 0.004), SOD2 (P < 0.0001), and C3 (P = 0.003), while PPARG (P = 0.006) and MRC1 (P = 0.003) decreased. Overall, Dorset ewes had greater expression of TLR4 (P = 0.003), IL-10 (P = 0.045), PPARG (P = 0.002), FOXP3 (P = 0.001), and SOD2 (P = 0.0002), whereas Suffolk ewes had greater expression of IL-6 (P = 0.0007), IFNG (P = 0.02), PTGS2 (P = 0.0002), and C3 (P = 0.008). Suffolk ewes also displayed greater expression of IL-6 (P = 0.002) and C3 (P = 0.0004) in response to LPS. In conclusion, differences in gene expression may explain the enhanced inflammatory response in Suffolk ewes and may predispose Suffolk ewes to be more responsive to bacterial infection than Dorset ewes.