Effects ofleptin Arg25Cyson peripheral mononuclear cell counts and antibody response to vaccination in beef cattle

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SummaryA single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the leptin gene that results in Arg25Cys has been associated with beef carcass quality and milk composition in dairy cattle. However, leptin (LEP) also plays a role in immune performance and hence it was important to determine whether selection based on this SNP would negatively affect immune cell numbers or antibody production. LEP c.73C>T was assessed for effects on immune cell counts and antibody titres in 27 beef cattle herds (n = 556). A commercial rabies vaccine had been administered to these animals. Prior to being vaccinated, counts of several important mononuclear cells (total and activated B lymphocytes, total and activated T helper and T cytotoxic, WC1 T lymphocytes and monocytes) as well as baseline serum antibody titres were determined for each animal. On day 21, antibody titres were measured and a booster vaccine was administered. Finally on day 42, antibody titres and mononuclear cell types were again counted. Counts of six different cell types were significantly associated with the LEP genotype; however, no consistent patterns were observed between LEP genotype (TT, CT or CC) and peripheral blood mononuclear cell populations. Significant differences in the production of rabies antibodies in response to vaccination were observed relative to LEP genotype. Our results suggest that selection for either the C or T allele would not detrimentally impact on the measured indicators of immune function in beef cattle.

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