Inflammation and oxidative stress transcription profiles due to in vitro supply of methionine with or without choline in unstimulated blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes from lactating Holstein cows

V. Lopreiato, M. Vailati-Riboni, A. Bellingeri, I. Khan, G. Farina, C. Parys, J. J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Neutrophils are the most important polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL), representing the front-line defense involved in pathogen clearance upon invasion. As such, they play a pivotal role in immune and inflammatory responses. Isolated PMNL from 5 mid-lactating Holstein dairy cows were used to evaluate the in vitro effect of methionine (Met) and choline (Chol) supplementation on mRNA expression of genes related to the Met cycle and innate immunity. The target genes are associated with the Met cycle, cell signaling, inflammation, antimicrobial and killing mechanisms, and pathogen recognition. Treatments were allocated in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, including 3 Lys-to-Met ratios (L:M, 3.6:1, 2.9:1, or 2.4:1) and 3 levels of supplemental Chol (0, 400, or 800 μg/mL). Three replicates per treatment group were incubated for 2 h at 37°C and 5% atmospheric CO2. Both betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase and choline dehydrogenase were undetectable, indicating that PMNL (at least in vitro) cannot generate Met from Chol through the betaine pathway. The PMNL incubated without Chol experienced a specific state of inflammatory mediation [greater interleukin-1β (IL1B), myeloperoxidase (MPO), IL10, and IL6] and oxidative stress [greater cysteine sulfinic acid decarboxylase (CSAD), cystathionine gamma-lyase (CTH), glutathione reductase (GSR), and glutathione synthase (GSS)]. However, data from the interaction L:M × Chol indicated that this negative state could be overcome by supplementing additional Met. This was reflected in the upregulation of methionine synthase (MTR) and toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2); that is, pathogen detection ability. At the lowest level of supplemental Chol, Met downregulated GSS, GSR, IL1B, and IL6, suggesting it could reduce cellular inflammation and enhance antioxidant status. At 400 µg/mL Chol, supplemental Met upregulated PMNL recognition capacity [higher TLR4 and L-selectin (SELL)]. Overall, enhancing the supply of methyl donors to isolated unstimulated PMNL from mid-lactating dairy cows leads to a low level of PMNL activation and upregulates a cytoprotective mechanism against oxidative stress. Enhancing the supply of Met coupled with adequate Chol levels enhances the gene expression of PMNL pathogen-recognition mechanism. These data suggest that Chol supply to PMNL exposed to low levels of Met effectively downregulated the entire repertoire of innate inflammatory-responsive genes. Thus, Met availability in PMNL during an inflammatory challenge may be sufficient for mounting an appropriate biologic response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10395-10410
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2019



  • amino acid
  • inflammation
  • innate immune function
  • methyl donor
  • neutrophil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

Cite this