Parity and Periparturient Period Affects Galectin Gene Expression in Holstein Cow Blood

Emmanuel K Asiamah, Sarah Adjei-Fremah, Kingsley Ekwemalor, Lorraine Sordillo, Mulumebet Worku


The periparturient period in dairy cows is a crucial time influencing health, milk production and fertility. Galectins are receiving interest as therapeutic targets because of their roles in immune signaling pathways. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression and modulation of galectin genes in periparturient cows with different parities. Twelve periparturient Holstein Friesian cows were grouped into 3 parities (1st parity, 2nd parity, 3rd parity) (N=4). Blood was taken during the periparturient period including 2 weeks close to parturition (close-up), and 7 days after parturition(c+7) in Paxgene tubes. Total RNA was isolated, reverse-transcribed to cDNA. With the use of Primer 3 online tool, specific primers (forward and reverse) for cow galectins LGALS- 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, GAPDH and β-actin were designed. Transcription of galectins was evaluated using Real-time PCR. Fold change in transcript abundance was calculated using the Livak method. GAPDH and β-actin served as internal controls. Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay(ELISA) was used to detect and determine the concentrations of Galectins(Gal) in the plasma. All galectins tested were differentially expressed. LGALS1 and LGALS15 were transcribed only during late gestation, but undetected postpartum regardless of parity. Gal-1, -2,-4,-8 and -9 concentrations in plasma were high in periparturient cows compared to far-off cows. Gal9 concentration increased postpartum. Gal-2, Gal-3 and –Gal-12 concentrations were reduced in plasma postpartum compared to far-off cows. This study supports the idea that galectin signatures may be useful biomarkers and drug targets in dairy cows, especially during the periparturient period.

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