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The immune response of bovine mammary epithelial cells to live or heat-inactivated Mycoplasma bovis

Zbinden, Christina, Pilo, Paola, Frey, Joachim, Bruckmaier, Rupert M, Wellnitz, Olga
Veterinary microbiology 2015 v.179 no.3-4 pp. 336-340
Mycoplasma bovis, Staphylococcus aureus, Toll-like receptor 2, amyloid, bacteria, blood serum, bovine mastitis, chemokine CCL5, cows, epithelial cells, gene expression, gene expression regulation, immune response, immune system, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, lactoferrin, mammary glands, messenger RNA, necrosis, pathogens, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, secondary metabolites, therapeutics, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, virulence
Mycoplasma bovis is an emerging bacterial agent causing bovine mastitis. Although these cell wall-free bacteria lack classical virulence factors, they are able to activate the immune system of the host. However, effects on the bovine mammary immune system are not yet well characterized and detailed knowledge would improve the prevention and therapy of mycoplasmal mastitis. The aim of this study was to investigate the immunogenic effects of M. bovis on the mammary gland in an established primary bovine mammary epithelial cell (bMEC) culture system. Primary bMEC of four different cows were challenged with live and heat-inactivated M. bovis strain JF4278 isolated from acute bovine mastitis, as well as with the type strain PG45. The immune response was evaluated 6 and 24h after mycoplasmal challenge by measuring the relative mRNA expression of selected immune factors by quantitative PCR. M. bovis triggered an immune response in bMEC, reflected by the upregulation of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin(IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, lactoferrin, Toll-like receptor-2, RANTES, and serum amyloid A mRNA. Interestingly, this cellular reaction was only observed in response to live, but not to heat-inactivated M. bovis, in contrast to other bacterial pathogens of mastitis such as Staphylococcus aureus. This study provides evidence that bMEC exhibit a strong inflammatory reaction in response to live M. bovis. The lack of a cellular response to heat-inactivated M. bovis supports the current hypothesis that mycoplasmas activate the immune system through secreted secondary metabolites.