Early diagnosis of endometritis in dairy cattle is currently requires invasive techniques and specialist expertise. The goal of this study is to utilize a gel-free mass-spectrometry based proteomics approach to compare the plasma proteome of dairy cattle with cytological endometritis to those without. Blood samples were collected from cows (N = 112) seven days postpartum (DPP). Plasma samples from a cohort of 20 animals with cytological endometritis (n = 10) and without (n = 10) as classified 21 DPP were selected for proteomic analysis. Differential abundances of proteins between the two animal groups were determined using both fold change (≥1.5 fold change) and statistical significance threshold (p < .05). A total of 181 non-redundant proteins were quantified, and 25 proteins were found with differential abundance. These include 4 binding protein alpha and mannose binding lectin 2 involved in immune responses. Differentially abundant proteins between the animals were then processed using PANTHER for gene ontology. Gene ontology included associations with innate immune processes, acute phase responses and immune regulation. A potential marker for disease identified here is the "uncharacterized protein G5E513," a protein previously defined by RNA-transcripts. These proteins may form the basis for endometritis prognosis, the development of which is proceeded by systemic changes in immune function. SIGNIFICANCE: Endometritis is a costly reproductive disease of lactating dairy cows that warrants timely diagnosis. We utilized a gel-free mass-spectrometry based proteomics approach to compare the plasma proteome of dairy cattle with cytological endometritis to those without, for the characterization of changes in the proteomic profile associated with uterine disease postpartum. Furthermore, we compared the plasma proteome of healthy and affected cows in the same physiological status of production to better understand the relationship between changes in expression of circulating proteins and to unravel essential biological mechanisms involved in bovine cytological endometritis.
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