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Peripheral and gastrointestinal immune systems of healthy cattle raised outdoors at pasture or indoors on a concentrate-based ration.

Lejeune A, Monahan FJ, Moloney AP, Earley B, Black AD, Campion DP, Englishby T, Reilly P, O'Doherty J, Sweeney T - BMC Vet. Res. (2010)

Bottom Line: Despite an increasing preference of consumers for beef produced from more extensive pasture-based production systems and potential human health benefits from the consumption of such beef, data regarding the health status of animals raised on pasture are limited.Lower levels of copper and iodine were measured in the outdoor animals in comparison to indoor animals (P < 0.001).Despite distinctly contrasting production systems, only subtle differences were identified in the peripheral immune parameters measured between cattle raised at pasture in comparison to animals raised on a conventional intensive indoor concentrate-based production system.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. lej.alexandre@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite an increasing preference of consumers for beef produced from more extensive pasture-based production systems and potential human health benefits from the consumption of such beef, data regarding the health status of animals raised on pasture are limited. The objective of this study was to characterise specific aspects of the bovine peripheral and the gastrointestinal muscosal immune systems of cattle raised on an outdoor pasture system in comparison to animals raised on a conventional intensive indoor concentrate-based system.

Results: A number of in vitro functional tests of immune cells suggested subtle differences between the animals on the outdoor versus indoor production systems. There was a decrease in the number of neutrophils and monocytes engaged in phagocytosis in outdoor cattle (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively) in comparison to those indoors. Following mitogen stimulation, a lower level of interferon-gamma was produced in leukocytes from the outdoor animals (P < 0.05). There was evidence of a gastrointestinal nematode infection in the outdoor animals with elevated levels of serum pepsinogen (P < 0.001), a higher number of eosinophils (P < 0.05) and a higher level of interleukin-4 and stem cell factor mRNA expression (P < 0.05) in the outdoor animals in comparison to the indoor animals. Lower levels of copper and iodine were measured in the outdoor animals in comparison to indoor animals (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Despite distinctly contrasting production systems, only subtle differences were identified in the peripheral immune parameters measured between cattle raised at pasture in comparison to animals raised on a conventional intensive indoor concentrate-based production system.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Eosinophil and mast cell count in the abomasal mucosa. Eosinophil (Figure 3A) and mast cell (Figure 3B) counts in the abomasal mucosa of indoor (shaded bars) and outdoor (clear bars) cattle during summer and winter are depicted as mean ± SEM. P values for the treatment, localization and treatment × localization effects are 0.020, 0.001, 0.006, respectively for eosinophils and 0.093, 0.001, 0.300, respectively for mast cells.
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Figure 3: Eosinophil and mast cell count in the abomasal mucosa. Eosinophil (Figure 3A) and mast cell (Figure 3B) counts in the abomasal mucosa of indoor (shaded bars) and outdoor (clear bars) cattle during summer and winter are depicted as mean ± SEM. P values for the treatment, localization and treatment × localization effects are 0.020, 0.001, 0.006, respectively for eosinophils and 0.093, 0.001, 0.300, respectively for mast cells.

Mentions: Eosinophils and mast cells were evident in the abomasal mucosa. In comparison to the upper mucosa, eosinophils were found in greatest numbers (P < 0.05) in the lower mucosa in both outdoor and indoor animals (Figure 3A). For both locations, the number of eosinophils was higher in outdoor than in indoor animals but the difference was greater in the lower mucosal regions resulting in an interaction between production system and location (P < 0.05). Mucosal mast cells in all sections were pleomorphic, ranging from small round cells to spindle-shaped cells with long processes. Again, mucosal mast cells were found in greatest numbers in the lower mucosa, in comparison to the upper mucosa, in both groups (P < 0.001, Figure 3B). The number of mast cells in both upper and lower mucosal regions was greater in outdoor animals than in indoor animals, although this only approached significance (P < 0.1).


Peripheral and gastrointestinal immune systems of healthy cattle raised outdoors at pasture or indoors on a concentrate-based ration.

Lejeune A, Monahan FJ, Moloney AP, Earley B, Black AD, Campion DP, Englishby T, Reilly P, O'Doherty J, Sweeney T - BMC Vet. Res. (2010)

Eosinophil and mast cell count in the abomasal mucosa. Eosinophil (Figure 3A) and mast cell (Figure 3B) counts in the abomasal mucosa of indoor (shaded bars) and outdoor (clear bars) cattle during summer and winter are depicted as mean ± SEM. P values for the treatment, localization and treatment × localization effects are 0.020, 0.001, 0.006, respectively for eosinophils and 0.093, 0.001, 0.300, respectively for mast cells.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2864234&req=5

Figure 3: Eosinophil and mast cell count in the abomasal mucosa. Eosinophil (Figure 3A) and mast cell (Figure 3B) counts in the abomasal mucosa of indoor (shaded bars) and outdoor (clear bars) cattle during summer and winter are depicted as mean ± SEM. P values for the treatment, localization and treatment × localization effects are 0.020, 0.001, 0.006, respectively for eosinophils and 0.093, 0.001, 0.300, respectively for mast cells.
Mentions: Eosinophils and mast cells were evident in the abomasal mucosa. In comparison to the upper mucosa, eosinophils were found in greatest numbers (P < 0.05) in the lower mucosa in both outdoor and indoor animals (Figure 3A). For both locations, the number of eosinophils was higher in outdoor than in indoor animals but the difference was greater in the lower mucosal regions resulting in an interaction between production system and location (P < 0.05). Mucosal mast cells in all sections were pleomorphic, ranging from small round cells to spindle-shaped cells with long processes. Again, mucosal mast cells were found in greatest numbers in the lower mucosa, in comparison to the upper mucosa, in both groups (P < 0.001, Figure 3B). The number of mast cells in both upper and lower mucosal regions was greater in outdoor animals than in indoor animals, although this only approached significance (P < 0.1).

Bottom Line: Despite an increasing preference of consumers for beef produced from more extensive pasture-based production systems and potential human health benefits from the consumption of such beef, data regarding the health status of animals raised on pasture are limited.Lower levels of copper and iodine were measured in the outdoor animals in comparison to indoor animals (P < 0.001).Despite distinctly contrasting production systems, only subtle differences were identified in the peripheral immune parameters measured between cattle raised at pasture in comparison to animals raised on a conventional intensive indoor concentrate-based production system.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. lej.alexandre@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite an increasing preference of consumers for beef produced from more extensive pasture-based production systems and potential human health benefits from the consumption of such beef, data regarding the health status of animals raised on pasture are limited. The objective of this study was to characterise specific aspects of the bovine peripheral and the gastrointestinal muscosal immune systems of cattle raised on an outdoor pasture system in comparison to animals raised on a conventional intensive indoor concentrate-based system.

Results: A number of in vitro functional tests of immune cells suggested subtle differences between the animals on the outdoor versus indoor production systems. There was a decrease in the number of neutrophils and monocytes engaged in phagocytosis in outdoor cattle (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively) in comparison to those indoors. Following mitogen stimulation, a lower level of interferon-gamma was produced in leukocytes from the outdoor animals (P < 0.05). There was evidence of a gastrointestinal nematode infection in the outdoor animals with elevated levels of serum pepsinogen (P < 0.001), a higher number of eosinophils (P < 0.05) and a higher level of interleukin-4 and stem cell factor mRNA expression (P < 0.05) in the outdoor animals in comparison to the indoor animals. Lower levels of copper and iodine were measured in the outdoor animals in comparison to indoor animals (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Despite distinctly contrasting production systems, only subtle differences were identified in the peripheral immune parameters measured between cattle raised at pasture in comparison to animals raised on a conventional intensive indoor concentrate-based production system.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus