Temporal pattern and effect of sex on lipopolysaccharide-induced stress hormone and cytokine response in pigs

P N Williams, C T Collier, J A Carroll, T H Welsh, J C Laurenz
Domestic Animal Endocrinology 2009, 37 (3): 139-47
The temporal pattern and sex effect of immune and stress hormone responses to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge were assessed using a pig model. Secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, and IL-6 increased in a time-dependent manner following LPS infusion. There was also a time-dependent increase in secretion of the stress-related hormones cortisol, epinephrine (E), and norepinephrine (NE) following LPS, with peak concentrations attained within 30 min. The magnitude of the TNF-alpha and IL-1beta responses were both positively associated (P < 0.05) with the magnitude of cortisol response following LPS, whereas serum IL-1beta and IL-6 were positively correlated with the magnitude of E and NE responses following LPS. Acute-phase protein production was also time-dependently increased following LPS. The concentration of immune cells in circulation was decreased (P < 0.05) at 5.5h post-LPS and negatively correlated with pro-inflammatory cytokine production. By 24h post-LPS, immune cell counts increased (P < 0.05) and were positively associated with both pro-inflammatory cytokine and stress hormone production. The amplitude of pro-inflammatory cytokine response following LPS was affected (P < 0.05) by sex classification; however, the magnitude of elevated cytokine concentrations was not. The magnitude of the NE response, but not of the E and cortisol responses, to LPS was influenced by sex (P < 0.05). Similar to the pro-inflammatory cytokines, the magnitude of exposure to the stress hormones following LPS was not influenced by sex. The production of serum amyloid A (SAA) was influenced by sex, with barrows producing more SAA than gilts at 24h post-LPS (P < 0.05). Collectively, these results demonstrate sex-specific, concomitant temporal changes in innate immune- and stress-related hormones.

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