Bovine mastitis is an important health and cost factor in the milk industry. To elucidate whether isolated perfused bovine udders can be used to study early inflammatory events of mastitis, 1 mg of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was instilled into quarters of 10 isolated perfused bovine udders. Three hours and 6 h after LPS instillation, tissue samples were taken from the gland cistern and base of the udder, subsequently stored in RNAlater and processed for the determination of inflammation-dependent gene regulation by real-time RT-qPCR. Gene expression analysis was performed using delta-delta Ct method. To translate mRNA results to protein, IL-1ß and IL-6 were determined in tissue homogenate by ELISA.
The instillation of 1 mg LPS lead to an increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines like TNF-α, CCL20, CXCL8 as well as of IL-1 ß, IL-6 and IL-10, lingual antimicrobial peptide (LAP) and S100A9. However, the degree of elevation differed slightly between gland cistern and udder base and markedly between 3 and 6 h after instillation, with a distinct increase in mediator expression after 6 h. IL-1β protein increased in a time-dependent manner, whereas IL-6 was unchanged within 6 h of LPS instillation.
Compared to in vivo studies with instillation of LPS into udders of living cows, a similar inflammation-dependent gene regulation profile can be mimicked in the isolated perfused bovine udder, indicating a supplementation of animal experiments.