Innate Immune Cells may be Involved in Prepubertal Bovine Mammary Development
Beaudry, Kirsten Leah
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Pre-pubertal bovine mammary development involves ductal and stromal tissue changes. In mice, this process is impacted by presence of innate immune cells. Whether or not such immune cells are present or involved in bovine mammary development is unknown. We studied the presence, location and changes in numbers of eosinophils, mast cells and macrophages in pre-pubertal bovine mammary tissue. Chemical stains and immunofluorescence were used to identify the cells in formalin fixed, paraffin embedded mammary tissue. The first set (ONT) included samples (n=4/week) from birth to 6 weeks of age. Another set (OVX) determined the influence of ovaries, 19 animals were intact or ovariectomized 30 days before sampling. They were 90, 120 or 150 days old at examination. The third set (EST) allowed examination of the potential influence of exogenous estrogen on innate immune cells in the mammary gland. Samples were from calves given estrogen implants (n=6) or placebo (n=4) at 56 days old, and sampled at 70 days old. We examined 20 images each of NEAR and FAR stroma from every animal. More eosinophils were observed in NEAR versus FAR in the ONT and OVX , more mast cells observed in NEAR versus FAR in ONT. More macrophages were observed in NEAR versus FAR in ONT and EST. We show, for the first time, that innate immune cells are present in prepubertal bovine mammary tissue and that abundance is related to the epithelial structure. We suggest a possible role for these cells in control of bovine mammary development.
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