Immunological Impact

Elevated BHBA during NEB occurs mostly concomitantly with other metabolic changes, like low plasma glucose and elevated NEFA concentrations, so some immunosuppressive effects cannot be exclusively ascribed to ketone bodies 48.


Elevation of plasma BHBA concentration

  • decreased chemotactic capacity of bovine blood leukocytes 49
  • decreased respiratory burst activity of bovine neutrophils 50
  • decreased phagocytotic activity of milk polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) 51
  • inhibit lymphocyte blastogenesis, oxidative burst and IgM secretion 52, 53


High plasma BHBA concentration

  • has a negative influence on the susceptibility of mastitis, course and severity of disease 54, 55
  • reduced cytokine production after bacterial infection 56
  • caused a heightened immune response in the form of increased lymphocytes counts, increasing stimulative properties of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and a positive linear correlation between the inflammatory marker haptoglobin (Hp) and increased values of BHB 57, 58

* see also our references page

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