The feto-maternal immune response to equine placentitis

Carleigh E. Fedorka, Barry A. Ball, Kirsten E. Scoggin, Shavahn C. Loux, Mats H.T. Troedsson, Amanda A. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Problem: Ascending placentitis is one of the leading causes of abortion in the horse. Minimal work has focused on its effect on fetal fluids or the antenatal immune response of the fetus. Methodology: Placentitis was induced via transcervical inoculation of Streptococcus equi ssp Zooepidemicus, and fluids/serum/tissues were collected 4-6 days later following euthanasia. Cytokine concentrations were detected using a multiplex immunoassay within fetal fluids (amniotic and allantoic) and serum (maternal and fetal) in inoculated and control mares. In addition, tissues from fetal (spleen, liver, lung, umbilicus, amnioallantois) and maternal (spleen, liver, lung, chorioallantois, endometrium) origin were analyzed in inoculated and control mares utilizing qPCR for expression of cytokines. Results: No difference in cytokine concentrations in maternal or fetal serum was noted between inoculated and control mares. Concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and GRO were upregulated in the amniotic fluid following inoculation, with a trend toward higher IL-6 concentration in allantoic fluid. The amnioallantoic tissue separating the two fluids had higher expression of IL-1β and IL-6 following inoculation, while chorioallantois and endometrium upregulated IL-1β and IL-8 expression. IL-1β was upregulated in the maternal spleen following inoculation. Fetal spleens were upregulated in expression of IL-1β, GRO, and IL-6, while IL-6 was higher in fetal liver after inoculation than in controls. Conclusion: The maternal response to placentitis is primarily pro-inflammatory while the fetus appears to play a regulatory role in this inflammation. Additionally, amniotic fluid sampling may be more diagnostic of ascending placentitis than circulating cytokines.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13179
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • allantoamnion
  • allantochorion
  • cytokine
  • equine
  • fetal fluid
  • induced placentitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'The feto-maternal immune response to equine placentitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this