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Antioxidants 2019, 8(1), 21;

Relationship between Protein Oxidation Biomarkers and Uterine Health in Dairy Cows during the Postpartum Period

Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padova, Legnaro, 35020 Padova, Italy
Via Argine Sinistro 23 Creola di Saccolongo, 35030 Padova, Italy
Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova, 35121 Padova, Italy
Proteomics Center, University of Padova and Azienda Ospedaliera di Padova, 35129 Padova, Italy
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie—Italian Health Authority and Research Organization for Animal Health and Food Safety, Legnaro, 35020 Padova, Italy
DSM Nutritional Products, 4303 Kaiseraugst, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Redox Balance in Animal Physiology)
PDF [901 KB, uploaded 17 January 2019]


High neutrophil (PMN, Polymorphonuclear neutrophil) counts in the endometrium of cows affected by endometritis, suggests the involvement of oxidative stress (OS) among the causes of impaired fertility. Protein oxidation, in particular, advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), are OS biomarkers linked to PMN activity. To test this hypothesis, the relationship between protein oxidation and uterus health was studied in thirty-eight dairy cows during the puerperium. The animals were found to be cycling, without any signs of disease and pharmacological treatments. PMN count was performed either through a cytobrush or a uterine horn lavage (UHL). Cows were classified into four groups, based on the uterine ultrasonographic characteristics and the PMN percentage in the uterine horns with a higher percentage of high neutrophil horn (HNH). They were classified as: Healthy (H); Subclinical Endometritis (SCE); Grade 1 Endometritis (EM1); and Grade 2 Endometritis (EM2). AOPP and carbonyls were measured in plasma and UHL. UHL samples underwent Western blot analysis to visualize the carbonyl and dityrosine formation. Plasma AOPP were higher (p < 0.05) in EM2. AOPP and carbonyl group concentrations were higher in the HNH samples (p < 0.05). Protein concentration in the UHL was higher in the EM2 (p < 0.05). Carbonyl and dityrosine formation was more intense in EM1 and EM2. Protein oxidation observed in the EM2 suggests the presence of an inflammatory status in the uterus which, if not adequately hindered, could result in low fertility. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy cow; puerperium; uterus; clinical outcome; oxidized proteins dairy cow; puerperium; uterus; clinical outcome; oxidized proteins

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Gabai, G.; De Luca, E.; Miotto, G.; Zin, G.; Stefani, A.; Da Dalt, L.; Barberio, A.; Celi, P. Relationship between Protein Oxidation Biomarkers and Uterine Health in Dairy Cows during the Postpartum Period. Antioxidants 2019, 8, 21.

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