In vitro peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation in a crossbred cattle population

F.J. Young, John Woolliams, J.L. Williams, Elizabeth Glass, R.G. O'Neill, J.L. Fitzpatrick

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Immune function measured by Staphylococcus aureus- and phytohemagglutinin- (PHA-) induced cell proliferation was assessed in a population of 445 genetically defined, F2 and backcross Charolais-Holstein crossbred cattle when the animals were approximately 5 mo of age. Variation in Staph. aureus- induced, PHA-induced, and control proliferation [ peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) and media only] was observed at d 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10 of in vitro culture. The levels of Staph. aureus- induced, PHA- induced, and control proliferation were strongly positively correlated between days of culture within-assay ( e. g., between d 2 and d 3 or between d 4 and d 5). Responses were also positively correlated when the same individuals were resampled and the assay repeated within 3 mo. Analyses fitting linear mixed models using REML showed that Staph. aureus- induced and PHA- induced proliferation was significantly associated with control proliferation and the year of birth. The age of the animal at sampling influenced only Staph. aureus- induced proliferation, with Staph. aureus- induced proliferation increasing with the age of the animal. Control proliferation was influenced by a sex x cross interaction, although in this study, sex was confounded by management, as female cattle were housed and reared differently from male cattle. All 3 measures of immune function were influenced by sire, demonstrating that these traits are partially under genetic control, and indicating that it may ultimately be possible to identify quantitative trait loci for these measures of immunity.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)2643-2651
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • crossbred
  • Staphylococcal aureus
  • peripheral blood mononuclear cell

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