The relationship between serum cytokine profile and vitamin D in calves with neonatal diarrhea

Cytokine. 2023 May;165:156173. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2023.156173. Epub 2023 Mar 16.


It is important to know the characteristics of the immunological response in newborn calf diarrhea, which is often caused by bacterial, viral and protozoal pathogens. Cytokinesare proteins that serve as chemical messengers to regulate theinnate and adaptive arms of theimmune response. Changes in circulatory cytokine levels provide valuable information for understanding the pathophysiological process and monitoring disease progression and inflammation. Vitamin D has important immunomodulatory effects, which include enhancing the innate immune system and inhibiting adaptative immune responses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between serum cytokine profile and vitamin D level in neonatal calves with diarrhea. The study population was comprised of 40 neonatal calves, 32 of which had diarrhea and 8 of which were healthy calves. The calves with diarrhea were allocated to four groups according to bacterial (Escherichia coli), viral (Rotavirus, Coronavirus) and protozoal (Cryptosporidium parvum) etiologies. Circulatory vitamin D metabolites (25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) and cytokines (TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13 and IL-17) in the calves were determined. There was no statistically significant difference among the groups in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels were higher in Coronavirus and E. coli groups compared to the controls. Serum levels of all cytokines except for IL-13, were higher in E. coli group than those of the control group. As a result, differences in serum cytokines and vitamin D levels according to etiological factors in calf diarrhea indicate that vitamin D may play a role in the immune response in the disease.

Keywords: Cytokine; Diarrhea; Neonatal Calf; Vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cryptosporidiosis* / epidemiology
  • Cryptosporidium* / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diarrhea
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-13
  • Vitamin D


  • Interleukin-13
  • Vitamin D
  • Cytokines