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Merlo, Mariacristina (2009) Can embryonic mortality in the dairy cow be related to oxidative stress? [Tesi di dottorato]

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Abstract (inglese)

The present thesis aimed to investigate causes and factors involved in embryo mortality (EM) in the dairy cow, in particular the role played by oxidative stress (OS).
In Chapter 4 the pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG) assay, a new method for bovine pregnancy/EM diagnosis never applied in Italy before, was tested in a commercial dairy farm. The PAG test turned out to be a reliable pregnancy/EM diagnosis method although some false positive or false negative were found. For instance, some cases of PAG detection in the maternal circulation after embryonic death occurrence were found, suggesting that PAG may be a better indicator of trophoblastic function rather than embryo viability. The relationship between progesterone (P4) and PAG production was investigated in three different experiments (chapter 4.3.6, chapter 5.3.3, and chapter 6.3.4). The results obtained showed a positive effect exerted by high P4 concentrations on PAG secretion, which is particularly evident when compared to the effect of P4 levels below the threshold of 6 ng/ml in these experiments.
The relationship between OS and EM was investigated in intensive dairy production system (chapter 5) and pasture-based system (chapter 6). Very few modifications of the OS indicators were observed in case of EM suggesting a weak involvement of OS in the aetiology of EM. It is interesting the relationship observed between advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) levels and EM which suggests a greater degree of protein oxidation in case of EM. Since AOPP seem to be a by-product of neutrophil activation during infections, it is possible that the higher levels of AOPP observed in EM may reflect subclinical inflammatory events at uterine levels that can compromise the correct embryonic development. Therefore, inflammation and not OS might be the main responsible for embryo loss.
Thus, the main contribution of this PhD thesis was to provide new knowledge about the oxidative status of dairy cows. In particular, original contributions are in relation to OS and inflammation biomarkers, as AOPP, and their involvement in EM. As a result, new questions have arisen on this area that could constitute the objective of further research programs in the future.

Abstract (italiano)

La presente tesi intende indagare le cause e i fattori implicati nella mortalità embrionale nella bovina da latte, in particolare il ruolo rivestito dallo stress ossidativo.
Nel capitolo 4, è stato testato in un’azienda di bovine da latte il dosaggio delle pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAG), un nuovo metodo per la diagnosi di gravidanza/morte embrionale mai applicato in Italia prima d’ora. Il PAG test si è dimostrato efficace nel diagnosticare gravidanze e morti embrionali, nonostante si siano riscontrati alcuni falsi positivi e falsi negativi. Ad esempio, in alcuni casi le PAG sono state rilevate nel sangue materno anche dopo la morte dell’embrione, suggerendo quindi che le PAG possano essere indicatori di funzionalità del trofoblasto anziché di vitalità dell’embrione.
Il rapporto tra i livelli di progesterone (P4) e la produzione di PAG è stato studiato in tre diversi esperimenti (capitoli 4.3.6; 5.3.3; e 6.3.4). I risultati ottenuti mostrano un effetto positivo esercitato da elevate concentrazioni di P4 sulla secrezione di PAG, che risulta evidente soprattutto quando confrontato con l’effetto di livelli di P4 inferiori alla concentrazione soglia di 6 ng/ml trovata in questi esperimenti.
Il rapporto tra lo stress ossidativo e la mortalità embrionale è stato valutato sia in un sistema di produzione intensivo (capitolo 5), che in un sistema estensivo basato sul pascolo (capitolo 6). Si sono osservate scarse modificazioni degli indicatori di stress ossidativo nei casi di mortalità embrionale, che suggeriscono quindi un suo debole coinvolgimento nell’eziologia di questa patologia. É comunque interessante considerare la relazione emersa tra i livelli di advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) e la mortalità embrionale, la quale induce a ritenere che vi sia un maggior grado di ossidazione delle proteine in caso di morte dell’embrione. Poiché gli AOPP sembrano essere prodotti dall’attivazione dei neutrofili in corso di infezione, è possibile che gli elevati livelli di AOPP, osservati nei casi di morte embrionale, riflettano eventi infiammatori subclinici a livello uterino che potrebbero, a loro volta, compromettere il corretto sviluppo dell’embrione. Di conseguenza, l’infiammazione, e non lo stress ossidativo, potrebbe essere il principale responsabile della perdita dell’embrione.
Il contributo maggiore apportato dalla presente tesi è quello di fornire nuove conoscenze in merito allo stato ossidativo della bovina da latte. In particolare, si sono ottenute rilevanti informazioni riguardanti alcuni indicatori di stress ossidativo e di infiammazione, come le AOPP, e il loro coinvolgimento nella mortalità embrionale.
Alla luce delle argomentazioni trattate in questo lavoro di indagine scientifica, sono derivati nuovi interrogativi che interessano il complesso tema della fisiopatologia della riproduzione della bovina da latte e che potrebbero costituire l’obiettivo di futuri programmi di ricerca.

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Tipo di EPrint:Tesi di dottorato
Relatore:Gabai, Gianfranco
Dottorato (corsi e scuole):Ciclo 21 > Scuole per il 21simo ciclo > SCIENZE VETERINARIE > SCIENZE BIOMEDICHE VETERINARIE E COMPARATE
Data di deposito della tesi:29 Gennaio 2009
Anno di Pubblicazione:2009
Parole chiave (italiano / inglese):dairy cow - embryonic mortality - pregnancy-associated glycoproteins - oxidative stress - inflammation
Settori scientifico-disciplinari MIUR:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > VET/02 Fisiologia veterinaria
Struttura di riferimento:Dipartimenti > Dipartimento di Scienze Sperimentali Veterinarie
Codice ID:1634
Depositato il:29 Gen 2009
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