Lipopolysaccharide and lipoteichoic acid induce different immune responses in the bovine mammary gland

Wellnitz, O.; Arnold, E.T.; Bruckmaier, R.M. (2011). Lipopolysaccharide and lipoteichoic acid induce different immune responses in the bovine mammary gland. Journal of dairy science, 94(11), pp. 5405-12. Savoy, Ill.: American Dairy Science Association 10.3168/jds.2010-3931

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Different pathogens, such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, can be responsible for different outcomes of mastitis; that is, acute and severe or chronic and subclinical. These differences in the disease could be related to different mammary responses to the pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine if intramammary challenge with the endotoxins lipopolysaccharide (LPS), from E. coli, and lipoteichoic acid (LTA), from Staph. aureus, induce different immune responses in vivo in milk cells and mammary tissue. To provide a reference level for comparing the challenge and to show the different stimulation of the mammary immune system on a quantitatively similar level, dosages of LPS and LTA were chosen that induced an increase of somatic cells in milk to similar maxima. One udder quarter in each of 21 lactating dairy cows was challenged with 0.2 mug of LPS or 20 mug of LTA. From these quarters and from respective control quarters, milk cells or tissue biopsies were obtained at 0, 6, and 12h relative to the challenge to measure mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha), IL-1beta, IL-8, lactoferrin, and RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted). Furthermore, if no biopsies were performed, hourly milk samples were taken for measurement of somatic cell count, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and TNFalpha. Somatic cell count increased in all treatments to similar maxima with LPS and LTA treatments. Concentrations of TNFalpha in milk increased with LPS but not with LTA. The activity of LDH in milk increased in both treatments and was more pronounced with LPS than with LTA. The mRNA expression of TNFalpha, IL-1beta, IL-8, and RANTES showed increases in milk cells, and LPS was a stronger inducer than LTA. Lactoferrin mRNA expression decreased in milk cells with LPS and LTA treatments. The measured factors did not change in either treatment in mammary tissue. Challenge of udder quarters with dosages of LPS and LTA that induce similar increases in SCC stimulate the appearance of different immune factor patterns. This dissimilar response to LPS and LTA may partly explain the different course and intensity of mastitis after infection with E. coli and Staph. aureus, respectively.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Wellnitz, Olga and Bruckmaier, Rupert




American Dairy Science Association




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:32

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2014 15:05

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 218570)

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