Effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide injection on white blood cell counts, hematological variables, and serum glucose, insulin, and cortisol concentrations in ewes fed low- or high-protein diets

D. T. Yates, C. A. Löest, T. T. Ross, D. M. Hallford, B. H. Carter, S. W. Limesand

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23 Scopus citations


Bacterial lipopolysaccharide endotoxins (LPS) elicit inflammatory responses reflective of acute bacterial infection. We determined if feeding ewes high-CP (15.5%) or low-CP (8.5%) diets for 10 d altered inflammatory responses to an intravenous bolus of 0 (control), 0.75 (L75), or 1.50 (L150) μg of LPS/ kg of BW in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments (n = 5/treatment). Rectal temperatures, heart and respiratory rates, blood leukocyte concentrations, and serum cortisol, insulin, and glucose concentrations were measured for 24 h after an LPS bolus (bolus = 0 h). In general, rectal temperatures were greater (P ≤ 0.05) in control ewes fed high CP, but LPS increased (P ≤ 0.05) rectal temperatures in a dose-dependent manner at most times between 2 and 24 h after the bolus. Peak rectal temperatures in L75 and L150 occurred 4 h after the bolus. A monophasic, dose-independent increase (P ≤ 0.023) in serum cortisol occurred from 0.5 to 24 h after the bolus, with peak cortisol at 4 h. Serum insulin was increased (P ≤ 0.016) by LPS in a dose-dependent manner from 4 to 24 h after the bolus. Insulin did not differ between control ewes fed high- and low- CP diets but was greater (P < 0.001) in L75 ewes fed low CP compared with high CP and in L150 ewes fed high CP compared with low CP. Increased insulin was not preceded by increased serum glucose. Total white blood cell concentrations were not affected (P ≥ 0.135) by LPS, but the neutrophil and monocyte fractions of white blood cells were increased (P ≤ 0.047) by LPS at 12 and 24 h and at 24 h after the bolus, respectively, and the lymphocyte fraction was increased (P = 0.037) at 2 h and decreased (P ≤ 0.006) at 12 and 24 h after the bolus. Red blood cell and hemoglobin concentrations and hematocrit (%) were increased (P ≤ 0.022) by LPS at 2 and 4 h after the bolus. Rectal temperatures and serum glucose were greater (P ≤ 0.033) in ewes fed a high-CP diet before LPS injection, but these effects were lost at and within 2.5 h of the bolus, respectively. Feeding high-CP diets for 10 d did not reduce inflammation in ewes during the first 24 h after LPS exposure but may benefit livestock by preventing acute insulin resistance when endotoxin exposure is mild.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4286-4293
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011



  • Cortisol
  • Crude protein
  • Insulin
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • White blood cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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