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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

The Effect of Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Experimental Bovine Mastitis on Clinical Parameters, Inflammatory Markers, and the Metabolome: A Kinetic Approach

Johnzon, Carl-Fredrik; Dahlberg, Josef; Gustafson, Ann-Marie; Waern, Ida; Moazzami, Ali A.; Ostensson, Karin; Pejler, Gunnar


Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the mammary tissue and represents a major problem for the dairy industry worldwide. The present study was undertaken to study how experimentally induced acute bovine mastitis affects inflammatory parameters and changes in the metabolome. To this end, we induced experimental mastitis in nine cows by intramammary infusion of 100 pg purified Escherichia call lipopolysaccharide (LPS) followed by kinetic assessments of cytokine responses (by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), changes in the metabolome (assessed by nuclear magnetic resonance), clinical parameters (heat, local pain perception, redness, swelling, rectal temperature, clot formation, and color changes in the milk), and milk somatic cell counts, at several time points post LPS infusion. Intramammary LPS infusion induced clinical signs of mastitis, which started from 2 h post infusion and had returned to normal levels within 24-72 h. Milk changes were seen with a delay compared with the clinical signs and persisted for a longer time. In parallel, induction of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were seen in milk, and there was also a transient elevation of plasma IL-6 whereas plasma TNF-alpha was not significantly elevated. In addition, a robust increase in CCL2 was seen in the milk of LPS-infused cows, whereas G-CSF, CXCL1, and histamine in milk were unaffected. By using a metabolomics approach, a transient increase of plasma lactose was seen in LPS-induced cows. In plasma, significant reductions in ketone bodies (3-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate) and decreased levels of short-chain fatty acids, known to be major products released from the gut microbiota, were observed after LPS infusion; a profound reduction of plasma citrate was also seen. Intramammary LPS infusion also caused major changes in the milk metabolome, although with a delay in comparison with plasma, including a reduction of lactose. We conclude that the LPS-induced acute mastitis rapidly affects the plasma metabolome and cytokine induction with similar kinetics as the development of the clinical signs, whereas the corresponding effects in milk occurred with a delay.


bovine mastitis; lipopolysaccharide; metabolomics; cytokines; short-chain fatty acids

Published in

Frontiers in Immunology
2018, Volume: 9, article number: 1487