Effect of circulating exosomes from transition cows on Madin-Darby bovine kidney cell function

M. A. Crookenden, C. G. Walker, H. Peiris, Y. Koh, F. Almughlliq, K. Vaswani, S. Reed, A. Heiser, J. J. Loor, J. K. Kay, S. Meier, S. S. Donkin, A. Murray, V. S.R. Dukkipati, J. R. Roche, M. D. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The greatest risk of metabolic and infectious disease in dairy cows is during the transition from pregnancy to lactating (i.e., the transition period). The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of extracellular vesicles (microvesicles involved in cell-to-cell signaling) isolated from transition cows on target cell function. We previously identified differences in the protein profiles of exosomes isolated from cows divergent in metabolic health status. Therefore, we hypothesized that these exosomes would affect target tissues differently. To investigate this, 2 groups of cows (n = 5/group) were selected based on the concentration of β-hydroxybutyrate and fatty acids in plasma and triacylglycerol concentration in liver at wk 1 and 2 postcalving. Cows with high concentrations of β-hydroxybutyrate, fatty acids, and triacylglycerol were considered at increased risk of clinical disease during the transition period (high-risk group; n = 5) and were compared with cows that had low concentrations of the selected health indicators (low-risk group; n = 5). At 2 time points during the transition period (postcalving at wk 1 and 4), blood was sampled and plasma exosomes were isolated from the high-risk and low-risk cows. The exosomes were applied at concentrations of 10 and 1 µg/mL to 5 × 103 Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells grown to 50% confluence in 96-well plates. Results indicate a numerical increase in cell proliferation when exosomes from high-risk cows were applied compared with those from low-risk cows. Consistent with an effect on cell proliferation, quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR indicated a trend for upregulation of 3 proinflammatory genes (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, ciliary neurotrophic factor, and CD27 ligand) with the application of high-risk exosomes, which are involved in cellular growth and survival. Proteomic analysis indicated 2 proteins in the low-risk group that were not identified in the high-risk group (endoplasmin and catalase), which may also be indicative of the metabolic state of origin. It is likely that the metabolic state of the transition cow affects cellular function through exosomal messaging; however, more in-depth research into cross-talk between exosomes and target cells is required to determine whether exosomes influence Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells in this manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5687-5700
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • extracellular vesicle
  • metabolic disease
  • transition cow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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