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Animal Science

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Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology



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Background: Postpartum inflammation is a natural and necessary response; however, a dysfunctional inflammatory response can be detrimental to animal productivity. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (meloxicam) on ewe postpartum inflammatory response, ewe plasma polyunsaturated fatty acid and oxylipid concentrations, and lamb growth.

Results: After lambing, 36 Hampshire and Hampshire × Suffolk ewes were sequentially assigned within type of birth to control (n = 17) or meloxicam orally administered on d 1 and 4 of lactation (MEL; 90 mg, n = 19). Milk and blood samples were collected on d 1 (prior to treatment) and d 4. Milk glucose-6-phosphate was not affected by MEL. Plasma haptoglobin (Hp) concentrations were less for MEL ewes; control ewes with greater d 1 Hp concentrations had elevated Hp on d 4, but this was not the case for MEL-treated ewes. Treatment with MEL increased plasma arachidonic acid concentration by more than 4-fold in ewes rearing singles but decreased concentrations of 9,10-dihydroxyoctadecenoic acid, prostaglandin F2α, 8-iso-prostaglandin E2, and 8,9- dihydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid. Nine oxylipids in plasma had interactions of treatment with d 1 Hp concentration, all of which revealed positive associations between d 1 Hp and d 4 oxylipid concentrations for CON, but neutral or negative relationships for MEL. MEL decreased 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid:13-oxooctadecadienoic acid ratio and tended to increase 9-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid:9-oxooctadecadienoic acid ratio (both dependent on d 1 values), indicating progressive metabolism of linoleic acid-derived oxylipids occurred by enzymatic oxidation after MEL treatment. Meloxicam reduced oxylipids generated across oxygenation pathways, potentially due to an improved redox state.

Conclusions: Postpartum MEL treatment of ewes decreased plasma concentrations of Hp and several oxylipids, with the greatest impact in ewes with biomarkers reflecting a greater inflammatory state before treatment. Antiinflammatory strategies may help resolve excessive postpartum inflammation in some dams.


This article is published as Olagaray, K.E., Bradford, B.J., Sordillo, L.M. et al. Postpartum meloxicam administration alters plasma haptoglobin, polyunsaturated fatty acid, and oxylipid concentrations in postpartum ewes. J Animal Sci Biotechnol 11, 68 (2020). doi:10.1186/s40104-020-00473-y.

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