Differential expression analysis of proteins from neutrophils in the periparturient period and neutrophils from dexamethasone-treated dairy cows

Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2006 Jun 15;111(3-4):149-64. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2005.12.001. Epub 2006 Jan 18.


Neutrophils play an important role in the host immune system's defense against pathogens. It has been established that neutrophil functionality is suppressed in dairy cows at parturition. The periparturient immunosuppression seen in dairy cattle is associated with an increase in the incidence of mastitis. Using amine-reactive isobaric tagging reagents we have measured relative protein expression from normal prepartum neutrophils and neutrophils isolated during immunosuppression at parturition. We found over 40 proteins that are differentially expressed at parturition compared to prepartum. In addition, we measured relative protein expression from normal neutrophils and neutrophils obtained from cows treated with an immunosuppressive dose of dexamethasone. We found over 70 proteins are differentially expressed during dexamethasone treatment. We then compared protein expression changes in dexamethasone-induced immunosuppression to periparturient immunosuppression. A number of proteins underwent similar expression changes in both dexamethasone and periparturient immunosuppressed neutrophils. Most significantly, we found a significant number of proteins whose relative expression was not the same for these two different conditions that cause neutrophil dysfunction. The data demonstrates that there are both similarities and differences in neutrophil protein expression in the naturally occurring immunosuppression observed at parturition compared to dexamethasone-induced immunosuppression in the bovine neutrophil.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western / veterinary
  • Cattle
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Mass Spectrometry / veterinary
  • Mastitis, Bovine / immunology*
  • Mastitis, Bovine / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Postpartum Period / immunology*
  • Postpartum Period / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects
  • Protein Biosynthesis / immunology


  • Dexamethasone