Endometrial IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, mRNA expression in mares resistant or susceptible to post-breeding endometritis. Effects of estrous cycle, artificial insemination and immunomodulation

Elida Fumuso, Steeve Giguère, José Wade, Dragan Rogan, Ignacio Videla-Dorna, Raúl A Bowden
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 2003 November 15, 96 (1): 31-41
Endometrial mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) was assessed in mares resistant (RM) or susceptible (SM) to persistent post-breeding endometritis (PPBE). Eight RM and eight SM, were selected based on reproductive records and functional tests out of a herd of 2,000 light cross-type mares. Three experiments were done to study transcription patterns in (i) basal conditions; (ii) after artificial insemination (AI); and (iii) after administration of an immunomodulator at time of artificial insemination. Endometrial biopsies were taken during consecutive cycles: (i) at estrus, when follicles reached 35 mm and at diestrus (7 +/- 1 days after ovulation); (ii) at 24 h post-AI, with dead semen (estrus) and in diestrus; (iii) at 24 h after treatment with a Mycobacterium phlei cell-wall extract (MCWE) preparation and AI (with dead semen), and at diestrus. mRNA expression was quantitated by real time PCR. Under basal conditions, SM had significantly higher mRNA expression of all cytokines in estrus and of IL-1beta and TNF-alpha in diestrus, compared to RM. After AI, there were no differences between RM and SM in estrus; however, mRNA expression for all three pro-inflammatory cytokines was higher than under basal conditions. In diestrus, RM showed significantly lower IL-1beta and TNF-alpha mRNA expression than SM. When MCWE was administered at time of AI, no differences between cytokine induction from RM and SM were found. Globally, mRNA expression for all three cytokines correlated well among themselves when expression was high. The present study showed that (i) in basal conditions RM had lower mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines than SM with no effect of estrous cycle; (ii) AI upregulated mRNA expression for all three cytokines in both RM and SM, with persistance in diestrus in the latter; (iii) treatment with MCWE at time of AI down-regulated mRNA expression of IL-1 with significant effects in SM which behaved like RM. Immunomodulation with MCWE could be of help in restoring homeostatic local inflammatory mechanisms, thus assisting in the prophylaxis of post-breeding endometritis in mares.

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