Galectins (GAL) are animal lectins that play important roles in the immune response through regulation of homeostasis and immune function. Bioactive polyphenols are able to bind and regulate galectins in inflammatory diseases. Cowpea is a nutritious and polyphenol-rich legume used as feed. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of cowpea polyphenol extract (CPE) on galectin gene transcription and translation in bovine peripheral blood. Blood from lactating cows (n = 10) were treated with CPE (10 μg/mL) or LPS (0.1 μg/mL), and control, to measure mRNA levels of bovine LGALS1, LGALS3, LGALS9, and some innate immune response genes. Secretion of GAL-1, GAL-3 and GAL-9 in plasma were measured using ELISAs. The mRNA expression of LGALS1, LGALS3 and LGALS9 decreased post CPE exposure. CPE decreased plasma GAL-1, but had no effect on GAL-3 and GAL-9. In addition, CPE decreased expression of TNFA, COX2 and upregulated TLR2, IL10 and IL4. LPS stimulation upregulated galectin genes expression and secretion. Overall, cowpea polyphenols modulated galectin expression, particularly GAL 1 in blood. The results provide a springboard for further studies on the use of polyphenol extracts from cowpea enriched feed supplements to target specific galectin genes for improved health and production in dairy cows.
Keywords: Galectins; bovine; cowpea polyphenols; immune response.