Immune Response of Postpartum Dairy Cows Fed Flaxseed

January 1, 2003 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Immune Response of Postpartum Dairy Cows Fed Flaxseed

Year: 2003
Authors: Lessard, M., Gagnon, N., Petit, H.V.
Publication Name: J. Dairy Sci.
Publication Details: Volume 86; Pages 2647–2657.


Thirty Holstein cows were allotted at calving to 10 groups of three cows blocked for similar calving dates to
determine the effects of dietary fatty acids on functional properties of immunocompetent cells in early lactation and at breeding. Cows were assigned at calving to one of three isonitrogenous, isoenergetic, and isolipidic supplements based on either calcium salts of palm oil, Megalac, micronized soybeans, or whole flaxseed. On the day of AI and 20 d later, cows were injected with ovalbumin to measure the antibody response. Blood samples were taken at different times after calving (d 5, 21, 42, and 105) and after AI (d 0, 10, 20, and 40) for quantification of serum progesterone, fatty acids, and prostaglandin E2 concentrations. Isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells were cultured to evaluate the proliferative response to concanavalin A and in vitro productions of interferon-γ and prostaglandin E2. In general, feeding flaxseed increased serum omega-3 fatty acids concentration compared with feeding Megalac or soybeans, which decreased the omega-6 to omega- 3 fatty acids ratio. There was a significant diet ? day interaction for the proliferative response of mononuclear cells after calving and AI, indicating that cell responses from cows fed flaxseed were transiently reduced compared with those fed Megalac and soybeans. Moreover, during the breeding period, serum progesterone concentration was significantly greater in cows fed flaxseed compared with those fed Megalac, whereas serum concentration of prostaglandin E2 was significantly lower in cows fed flaxseed than in those fed Megalac or soybeans. Dietary treatments had no effect on the antibody response to ovalbumin and on in vitro productions of interferon-γ and prostaglandin E2. However, interferon-γ and prostaglandin E2 were impaired in the first 3 wk after parturition regardless of dietary treatment.                  
These results suggest that changes in fatty acids, progesterone, and prostaglandins E2 concentrations in serum due to dietary treatment and physiological status influenced systemic immunity as shown by reduced proliferative response. However, other mechanisms must be considered and are discussed to explain dietary effect on lymphocyte proliferative response to mitogenic stimulation and other immune functions. Author's Abstract.

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