The effect of intramammary infusion of recombinant bovine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (rbGM-CSF) and interleukin-8 (rbIL-8) on mononuclear cell populations in quarters, somatic cell count (SCC) and the California Mastitis Test (CMT) score were investigated. From the selected cows with naturally occurring Staphylococcus aureus subclinical mastitis, one quarter of each cow were selected for the infusions of rbGM-CSF (400 μg/5 mL/quarter, n = 9), rbIL-8 (1 mg/5 mL/quarter, n = 9), and phosphate-buffered saline (5 mL/quarter, n = 7). The CMT score of both cytokines post infusion temporarily increased between days 0 and 1 and significantly decreased between days 7 and 14 compared to the preinfusion level. The SCC on day 14 after infusions of rbGM-CSF tended to be lower than that of the control group. The percentage of CD14+ cells increased on days 1 and 2 post infusion of rbGM-CSF. The percentage of CD4+ and CD8+ cells also increased on days 2 and 3, suggesting that the infusion of rbGM-CSF enhanced cellular immunity in the mammary gland. In contrast, the percentage of CD14+ cells decreased on days 0.25 and 1 post infusion of rbIL-8. No significant changes in the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ cells in milk after infusion of rbIL-8 were evident during the experimental period, which suggested that rbIL-8 had little effect on the function of T cells in the mammary gland. These results indicated that rbGM-CSF and rbIL-8 decreased the CMT score by a different mechanism and may have a potential as therapeutic agents for subclinical mastitis.
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