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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.03011

Bovine neonatal monocytes display phenotypic differences compared with adults after challenge with an infectious abortifacient agent.

Parul Sharma1, 2, Catherine S. Guy1, Manjurul Haque3,  Tracey J. Coffey2,  Sharon A. Egan2 and  Robin J. Flynn1*
  • 1Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 2School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • 3Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Canada

The neonatal period represents a window of susceptibility for ruminants given the abundance of infectious challenges in their environment. Maternal transfer of immunity either in utero or post-birth provides protection, however this does not compensate for potential deficits in the cellular compartment. Here we present a cellular and transcriptomic study to investigate if there is an age-related difference in the monocyte response in cattle during intra-cellular protozoan infection. We utilised Neospora caninum, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that causes abortion and negative economic impacts in cattle worldwide, to study these responses. We found neonatal animals had a significant greater percentage of CD14+ monocytes with higher CD80 cell surface expression. Adult monocytes harboured more parasites compared to neonatal monocytes; additionally greater secretion of IL-1β was observed in neonates. Microarray analysis revealed neonates have 535 genes significantly upregulated compared to adult with 23 upregulated genes. Biological pathways involved in immune response were evaluated and both age groups showed changes in the upregulation of tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT protein and JAK-STAT cascade pathways. However, the extent to which these pathways were upregulated in neonates was much greater. Our findings suggest that neonates are more resistant to cellular invasion with protozoan parasites and that the magnitude of the responses is related to significant changes in the JAK-STAT network.

Keywords: neonatal, Neospora caninum, jak-stat, monocyte, bovine

Received: 13 Aug 2018; Accepted: 05 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Janice C. Telfer, University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States

Reviewed by:

Viskam Wijewardana, International Atomic Energy Agency, Austria
Martin Faldyna, Veterinary Research Institute (VRI), Czechia
Dirk Werling, Royal Veterinary College (RVC), United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2018 Sharma, Guy, Haque, Coffey, Egan and Flynn. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Robin J. Flynn, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7BE, North West England, United Kingdom,