Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vol.190, No.4, 1242-1256, 2020
Bovine Endometritis and the Inflammatory Peripheral Cholinergic System
Endometritis is an inflammation of the endometrium associated with bacterial infection. The pathogenesis of endometritis in cows is still not completely understood. The combined analysis of the markers of inflammation and oxidative stress has contributed to a better understanding of disease mechanisms, but is still unexplored in uterine disorders. Moreover, research provides evidence about an important role of the vagus nerve in regulating the innate immune function through the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in response to bacterial infections. This new pathway has demonstrated a critical role in controlling the inflammatory system. The aim of this study was to evaluate the activity of cholinesterase in total blood, lymphocytes, and serum of dairy cows with clinical and subclinical endometritis. Sixty-one Holstein cows, between 30 and 45 days in milk, were classified into 3 groups of animals: presenting clinical endometritis (n = 22), subclinical endometritis (n = 17), and healthy (n = 22). Mean leukocyte counts did not differ among groups, but the neutrophil number was significantly higher in cows with clinical endometritis than those in healthy animals. Also, serum concentration of interleukin-1beta (pg/mL) was significantly higher in cows with endometritis. The activity of acetylcholinesterase in blood and lymphocytes increased in both groups with endometritis. Animals with endometritis presented an increase in lipid peroxidation, but the antioxidant enzyme activity (catalase levels) was higher in endometritis groups than in normal cows. In conclusion, the inflammatory process of clinical and subclinical endometritis leads to systemic lipid peroxidation despite the compensatory increase of the antioxidant enzyme. These data also provide evidence of an important role of the cholinergic pathway in regulating dairy cows with clinical and subclinical endometritis.