U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



American Dairy Science Association, 2009.


J. Dairy Sci. 92:5977–5987 doi:10.3168/jds.2009-2097


The aim of this study was to examine changes in RNA expression for growth factors, cytokines, and receptors in epidermal-dermal tissues of the bovine claw relative to hostage, claw segment, and disease state of the horn. Epidermal-dermal tissues were collected from the coronary, wall, sole, and bulb segments of 8- to 9-mo-old Holstein fetuses, normal adult cows, and adult cows with sole ulceration. Anatomic and pathologic characteristics were determined in tissues stained with eosin and hematoxylin, and RNA expression levels were evaluated using real-time, quantitative PCR. In normal tissues, certain RNA expression levels were clearly affected by hostage: 290.0-, 610.0-, 53.4-, and 8.1-fold greater expression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor was observed in fetal coronary, wall, sole, and bulb segment relative to adult tissues, respectively. A claw segment effect was also observed in that IL-1α expression was greater (1.59-fold) in the normal adult wall relative to the coronary segment, and IL- 18 expression was greater (16.2-fold) in the normal adult sole compared with the coronary segment and 2.88 greater in the fetal sole relative to the bulb segment. Sole ulceration was associated with hemorrhage, thrombosis, inflammation, and striking increases in IL-1β, IL-18, and inducible nitric oxide synthase, and with less dramatic, albeit measurable, changes in IL-1 type I receptor, IL-1 receptor antagonist, and tumor necrosis factor-α. Amidst striking increases in keratinocyte growth factor receptor (i.e., 21.0-fold, 10.4-fold, 0, and 21.6-fold in the coronary, wall, sole, and bulb segments, respectively), a concomitant decrease occurred in keratinocyte growth factor (i.e., 0.80-, 0.54-, 0.56-, and 0.72-fold, respectively). The results demonstrated changes in disease state and, to a lesser extent, claw segment and were accompanied by alterations in the RNA expression of several cytokines, growth factors, and receptors present in the normal claw.