The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


Cytokines are protein mediators produced by the immune and nonimmune cells that are involved in the regulation of inflammation and immune responses. The availability of several recombinant bovine cytokines have led to the investigation of the potential of cytokines as prophylactic or therapeutic strategies in the control of bovine mastitis, the most expensive disease affecting the dairy industry. The main goals of cytokine therapy are to enhance the immune response in the mammary gland against pathogenic bacteria, to increase the efficacy of antibiotic treatment, and to enhance the specific immunity of mastitis vaccines. Important cytokines used in mastitis studies are interferon-gamma (IFN-y), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-2 (IL-2) and colony-stimulating factors (CSFs). This review describes the structure and function of these cytokines and their potential applications in preventing bovine mastitis.

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