Intramammary infection in rapidly growing, non-lactating mammary glands
Enger, Benjamin David
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Intramammary infections (IMI) are common in non-lactating heifer and dry cow mammary glands and occur during periods of appreciable mammary growth and development. The presence of these infections is expected to negatively impact mammary growth and development but has yet to be investigated. The works reported here investigated how IMI affects mammary tissue structure, cellularity, and the expression of integral mammogenic hormone receptors implicated in mammary growth. Non-pregnant non-lactating cows (n = 19) were administered estradiol and progesterone to stimulate mammary growth and 2 quarters of each cow were subsequently infused with either saline (n = 19) or Staphylococcus aureus (n = 19). Intramammary infusion of Staphylococcus aureus increased the number of immune cells present in gland secretions and also increased the proportion of neutrophils comprising these secretion somatic cells. Mammary tissues from quarters infused with Staphylococcus aureus contained more immune cells, less mammary epithelial tissue area, and greater tissue areas of intralobular stromal tissue than saline quarters. Staphylococcus aureus quarters also contained more apoptotic mammary epithelial cells and a lower proportion of apoptotic cells in the intralobular stroma compartment than saline infused quarters; this signified that Staphylococcus aureus quarters had less epithelial growth and experienced an expansion and/or lack of regression of stromal tissues. The number of cells expressing estrogen receptor α (ESR1) and progesterone receptor (PGR), as well as staining characteristics of ESR1 and PGR positive nuclei was also examined in these tissues. No appreciable differences were observed in any of the examined ESR1 and PGR measures between Staphylococcus aureus and saline mammary glands, but myoepithelial cells from Staphylococcus aureus glands had a greater nuclear staining area than saline quarters, indicating that these cells were affected by IMI. The results of these investigations indicate that IMI, in mammary glands that are concurrently stimulated to grow and develop, limits the growth of mammary epithelium and impairs regression of the stromal tissue, both of which are necessary for successful lactational performance.
- Doctoral Dissertations