The effect of citrus-derived oil on bovine blood neutrophil function and gene expression in vitro

J Dairy Sci. 2015 Feb;98(2):918-26. doi: 10.3168/jds.2014-8450. Epub 2014 Nov 28.


Research on the use of natural products to treat or prevent microbial invasion as alternatives to antibiotic use is growing. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) play a vital role with regard to the innate immune response that affects severity or duration of mastitis. To our knowledge, effect of cold-pressed terpeneless Valencia orange oil (TCO) on bovine PMNL function has not been elucidated. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the effect of TCO on bovine blood PMNL chemotaxis and phagocytosis capabilities and the expression of genes involved in inflammatory response in vitro. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes were isolated from jugular blood of 12 Holstein cows in mid-lactation and were incubated with 0.0 or 0.01% TCO for 120min at 37°C and 5% CO2, and phagocytosis (2×10(6) PMNL) and chemotaxis (6×10(6) PMNL) assays were then performed in vitro. For gene expression, RNA was extracted from incubated PMNL (6×10(6) PMNL), and gene expression was analyzed using quantitative PCR. The supernatant was stored at -80°C for analysis of tumor necrosis factor-α. Data were analyzed using a general linear mixed model with cow and treatment (i.e., control or TCO) in the model statement. In vitro supplementation of 0.01% of TCO increased the chemotactic ability to IL-8 by 47%; however, migration of PMNL to complement 5a was not altered. Treatment did not affect the production of tumor necrosis factor-α by PMNL. Expression of proinflammatory genes (i.e., SELL, TLR4, IRAK1, TRAF6, and LYZ) coding for proteins was not altered by incubation of PMNL with TCO. However, downregulation of TLR2 [fold change (FC=treatment/control)=-2.14], NFKBIA (FC=1.82), IL1B (FC=-2.16), TNFA (FC=-9.43), and SOD2 (FC=-1.57) was observed for PMNL incubated with TCO when compared with controls. Interestingly, expression of IL10, a well-known antiinflammatory cytokine, was also downregulated (FC=-3.78), whereas expression of IL8 (FC=1.93), a gene coding for the cytokine IL-8 known for its chemotactic function, tended to be upregulated in PMNL incubated with TCO. Incubation of PMNL with TCO enhanced PMNL chemotaxis in vitro. The expression of genes involved in the inflammatory response was primarily downregulated. Results showed that 0.01% TCO did not impair the function of PMNL in vitro. Future studies investigating the use of TCO as an alternative therapy for treatment of mastitis, including dose and duration, for cows during lactation are warranted.

Keywords: Holstein cow; bovine neutrophil; citrus oil.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / genetics
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects*
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Lactation / drug effects
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Interleukin-8
  • Plant Oils
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha