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  • Author: Leszek Krakowski x
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Changes in blood lymphocyte subpopulations and expression of MHC-II molecules in wild mares before and after parturition


Introduction: Pregnancy is a physiological state in which the immune system undergoes certain changes. On the one hand, by depleting cell defence mechanisms, it favours development and maintenance of the pregnancy. At the same time cells of the immune system ensure resistance to many risk factors, including infectious agents.

Material and Methods: The study was carried out on 24 Polish Konik breed mares which were divided into two equal groups. The first group (group I) included mares living in the reserve. The second group (group II) comprised mares maintained under conventional conditions in the stables. The blood samples were collected for the first time in the perinatal period, i.e. 2 weeks before parturition (trial 0), then within the first 24 h after delivery, and then on 7th and 21st day after foaling. Flow cytometric analysis of lymphocyte expressing TCD4+, TCD8+, CD2+, and MHC class II antigens was performed.

Results: Before the delivery, in group I there was a significantly higher CD4:CD8 ratio compared to group II (P ≤0.05). Similarly, significantly increased CD4:CD8 ratio in group I was noted within 24 h after parturition (P ≤0.001) and it was also observed on 7th day (P ≤0.03) and 21st day after foaling (P ≤0.02). In the first 24 h after parturition, a significant decline of lymphocytes CD8+ (P ≤0.02) was noted. No significant differences in terms of lymphocytes CD2+ and CD3+ were observed. Expression of MHC-II molecules before and after the parturition was higher in group I compared to group II; however, the difference between the groups was not significant.

Conclusion: The results obtained indicate that mares living in the reserve display higher activity of cell defence mechanisms.

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Cytological image of the endometrium in cows in follicular and luteal phases of the ovarian cycle and in cows with follicular and luteal ovarian cysts


The experiment was conducted on 30 Holstein-Friesian cows: 10 cows in the follicular phase of the cycle and in the luteal phase 10 d later, 10 cows with follicular cysts, and 10 with luteal cysts. The presence of the ovarian structures was confirmed by ultrasonography. Serum levels of progesterone and 17β-oestradiol were tested with ELISA. Samples for cytological examination were collected from the uterus of all cows using a cytological brush. Following staining, the smears were evaluated in terms of quality and percentages of endometrial cells. In the follicular phase of the oestrous cycle, cells of type A - superficial cells (64.6 ± 4.48) were proportionally the largest group of cells. Cells of type C - basal cells (19.8 ± 2.75) were also present. In the luteal phase, the highest percentage of cells was of type B - intermediate cells (76.9 ± 4.26). When follicular cysts were present on the ovaries, the cytology resembled the follicular phase of the cycle, but with many younger type C cells (33.1 ± 4.11). In the case of luteal cysts on the ovaries, the cytology was similar to that of the luteal phase of the cycle, however with a lower percentage of type B cells (58.1 ± 5.71), and a slightly higher percentage of the other types. The differences in the cytological image of the uterus when different ovarian structures are present, depend on the hormonal activity of those structures. Due to the lack of literature data, the results of the study are important as a model, and may substantially facilitate identification of phases of the oestrus cycle, or the pathologies described, as well as indicate the current status of the endometrium

Open access