The lack of efficacy of conventional strategies for the maintenance of healthy udders in domestic cattle has prompted studies on the use of immunomodulators or biological response modifiers (BRM) for this purpose. These compounds are agents that modify the host's response to pathogens leading to beneficial effects on disease outcome. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a single intramammary infusion of Panax ginseng (GS) extract on the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the number of monocytes/macrophages present in bovine mammary tissues at drying off. Eight mammary quarters from six nonpregnant cows in late lactation were infused with 10 mL of GS (3mg/mL), six quarters were treated with 10 mL of placebo (vehicle alone) and six quarters were maintained as uninoculated controls. The analyses of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) by immunohistochemistry revealed that the production of this proinflammatory cytokine significantly increased (P<0.05) in the inoculated mammary glands of cows following BRM inoculation, whereas the interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α) and IL-6 staining area was not affected by BRM treatment. The number of monocytes/macrophages detected with CD14 antibody was significantly higher (P<0.05) in BRM-treated quarters than in placebo and uninoculated control quarters. These results indicated an immunomodulator potential of the BRM used. The beneficial effect of the extract could be used as alternative therapy in the control of mastitis at drying off, either alone or in conjunction with dry cow antibiotic therapy.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.