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Stress-induced immunomodulation in low and high reactive sheep

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posted on 2023-05-03, 21:21 authored by Mhairi Sutherland, Suzanne Dowling, Richard ShawRichard Shaw, Jackie Hickey, Diane Fraser, Catherine CameronCatherine Cameron, Ian SutherlandIan Sutherland
Proper functioning of the immune system is fundamental to maintain animal health; however, several factors can modulate an animal’s immune system including stress. Farm animals can experience multiple stressors throughout their lifetime, therefore, there is a need to know how stress can impact their immune response. Moreover, temperament can affect how an animal responds to a stressor, both behavioural and physiologically. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between stress and temperament on the humoral immune response of ewes. Eighty ewes were allocated to one of four treatment groups in a 2 × 2 factorial design (n = 20 ewes/treatment): low (LR) and high (HR) reactive ewes were either exposed to no stress (CON) or were visually isolated (STRESS). Ewes remained in treatment pens for 23 h: heart rate was measured continuously, and saliva samples were collected prior to testing and at 0.5 h and 23 h for measurement of cortisol, CarLA IgA and total IgA concentrations. After the first 0.5 h, heart rate was elevated, and cortisol concentrations tended to be higher, whereas CarLa IgA concentrations were lower in STRESS than CON ewes. Similarly, after 23 h, cortisol concentrations remained elevated and CarLA IgA concentrations remained lower in STRESS than CON ewes. Interestingly, total IgA concentrations were not influenced by a 0.5 h or 23 h stressor. Overall, CarLA IgA concentrations were lower in HR than LR ewes at 0.5 h, but there was no significant stress × temperament interaction. Therefore, stress appears to have an immunosuppressive effect on CarLA IgA but not total IgA concentrations in ewes.

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Rights statement

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Language

  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Publisher

MDPI

Journal title

Animals

ISSN

2076-2615

Citation

Sutherland, M., Dowling, S., Shaw, R., Hickey, J., Fraser, D., Cameron, C., & Sutherland, I. (2019). Stress-induced immunomodulation in low and high reactive sheep. Animals, 9(3), 104. doi:10.3390/ani9030104

Funder

Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment

Contract number

A23975

Job code

12416

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