MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group

Üllő, Hungary

MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group

Üllő, Hungary
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Skrapits K.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Kanti V.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Savanyu Z.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Maurnyi C.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 8 more authors.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Hypophysiotropic projections of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-synthesizing neurons form the final common output way of the hypothalamus in the neuroendocrine control of reproduction. Several peptidergic neuronal systems of the medial hypothalamus innervate human GnRH cells and mediate crucially important hormonal and metabolic signals to the reproductive axis, whereas much less is known about the contribution of the lateral hypothalamic area to the afferent control of human GnRH neurons. Orexin (ORX)- and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-synthesizing neurons of this region have been implicated in diverse behavioral and autonomic processes, including sleep and wakefulness, feeding and other functions. In the present immunohistochemical study, we addressed the anatomical connectivity of these neurons to human GnRH cells in post-mortem hypothalamic samples obtained from autopsies. We found that 38.9 ± 10.3% and 17.7 ± 3.3% of GnRH-immunoreactive (IR) perikarya in the infundibular nucleus of human male subjects received ORX-IR and MCH-IR contacts, respectively. On average, each 1 mm segment of GnRH dendrites received 7.3 ± 1.1 ORX-IR and 3.7 ± 0.5 MCH-IR axo-dendritic appositions. Overall, the axo-dendritic contacts dominated over the axo-somatic contacts and represented 80.5 ± 6.4% of ORX-IR and 76.7 ± 4.6% of MCH-IR inputs to GnRH cells. Based on functional evidence from studies of laboratory animals, the direct axo-somatic and axo-dendritic input from ORX and MCH neurons to the human GnRH neuronal system may convey critical metabolic and other homeostatic signals to the reproducive axis. In this study, we also report the generation and characterization of new antibodies for immunohistochemical detection of GnRH neurons in histological sections. © 2015 Skrapits, Kanti, Savanyú, Maurnyi, Szenci, Horváth, Borsay, Herczeg, Liposits and Hrabovszky.


Kovacs L.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Kovacs L.,Szent Istvan University | Kezer F.L.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Kezer F.L.,Szent Istvan University | And 3 more authors.
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2016

This investigation was conducted to examine circadian and seasonal rhythms of heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) by means of hour-by-hour recordings over 24h in a large population of non-lactating Holstein-Friesian pregnant cows [N=56, summer (June-July); N=61, winter (November-December)]. Data were collected during a 5-day period from each animal. Besides parameters of cardiac autonomic function [the high-frequency (HF) component of HRV and the ratio between the low-frequency (LF) and the HF components (LF/HF ratio)], the RR triangular index and Lmax were calculated. A clear circadian profile was observed for every parameter in summer. Heart rate elevated gradually with the course of the day from 7:00 to 17:00 o'clock and then slightly decreased from 18:00 to 6:00. Sympathovagal balance shifted towards sympathetic dominance during the daytime (increased LF/HF ratio), whereas parasympathetic activity was predominant during the night (increased HF). Lmax reflected a chaotic behavior of heart rate fluctuations during the afternoon in summer. Decreased values of RR triangular index indicated a sensitive period for cows between 14:00 and 16:00 o'clock in summer. During winter, except for the RR triangular (RRtri) index reflecting a high overall variability in R-R intervals between 12:00 and 23:00 o'clock, heart rate and HRV showed no periodicity over the 24-h period. The results suggest an impaired cardiac autonomic function during daytime in summer. HF, Lmax and RRtri index showed seasonal differences for both daytime and nighttime. Heart rate was higher in summer than in winter during the daytime, whereas the LF/HF ratio was higher in winter during the nighttime. Circadian and seasonal rhythms of cardiovascular function are presumably related to the differing temperature, and animal activity associated with summer and winter. As all of the investigated parameters are commonly used in bovine HRV research, these findings have practical implications for behavioral, physiological and welfare studies on dairy cattle. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | University of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lyon, National Center for Epidemiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and 5 more.
Type: | Journal: Veterinary immunology and immunopathology | Year: 2017

West Nile virus (WNV) mainly infects birds, horses and humans. Outcomes of the infection range from mild uncharacteristic signs to fatal neurologic disease. The main objectives of the present study were to measure serum IgG and IgM antibodies in naturally exposed and vaccinated horses and to compare results of haemagglutination inhibition test (HIT), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and plaque reduction neutralisation test (PRNT). Altogether 224 animals were tested by HIT for WNV antibodies and 41 horses were simultaneously examined by ELISA and PRNT. After primary screening for WNV antibodies, horses were vaccinated. Samples were taken immediately before and 3-5 weeks after each vaccination. McNemars chi-squared and percent agreement tests were used to detect concordance between HIT, ELISA and PRNT. Analyses by HIT confirmed the presence of WNV antibodies in 27/105 (26%) naturally exposed horses. Sera from 57/66 (86%) vaccinated animals were positive before the first booster and from 11/11 (100%) before the second booster. HIT was less sensitive for detecting IgG antibodies. We could detect postvaccination IgM in 13 cases with IgM antibody capture ELISA (MAC-ELISA) and in 7 cases with HIT. WNV is endemic in Hungary and regularly causes natural infections. Protective antibodies could not be measured in some of the cases 12 months after primary vaccinations; protection is more reliable after the first yearly booster. Based on our findings it was not possible to differentiate infected from recently vaccinated horses using MAC-ELISA. HIT cannot be used as a substitute for ELISA or PRNT when detecting IgG, but it proved to be a useful tool in this study to gain statistical information about the tendencies within a fixed population of horses.


Kovacs L.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Kovacs L.,Szent Istvan University | Kezer F.L.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Kezer F.L.,Szent Istvan University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Most experimental studies on animal stress physiology have focused on acute stress, while chronic stress, which is also encountered in intensive dairy cattle farming-e.g. in case of lameness-, has received little attention. We investigated heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) as indicators of the autonomic nervous system activity and fecal glucocorticoid concentrations as the indicator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in lame (with locomotion scores 4 and 5; n = 51) and non-lame (with locomotion scores 1 and 2; n = 52) Holstein-Friesian cows. Data recorded during the periods of undisturbed lying-representing baseline cardiac activity-were involved in the analysis. Besides linear analysis methods of the cardiac inter-beat interval (time-domain geometric, frequency domain and Poincaré analyses) non-linear HRV parameters were also evaluated. With the exception of standard deviation 1 (SD1), all HRV indices were affected by lameness. Heart rate was lower in lame cows than in non-lame ones. Vagal tone parameters were higher in lame cows than in non-lame animals, while indices of the sympathovagal balance reflected on a decreased sympathetic activity in lame cows. All geometric and non-linear HRV measures were lower in lame cows compared to non-lame ones suggesting that chronic stress influenced linear and non-linear characteristics of cardiac function. Lameness had no effect on fecal glucocorticoid concentrations. Our results demonstrate that HRV analysis is a reliable method in the assessment of chronic stress, however, it requires further studies to fully understand the elevated parasympathetic and decreased sympathetic tone in lame animals. © 2015 Kovács et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


PubMed | MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group, Rumino Vet Bt. and Szent Istvan University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

We investigated the associations between heart rate variability (HRV) parameters and some housing- and individual-related variables using the canonical correspondence analysis (CCOA) method in lactating Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. We collected a total of 5200 5-min interbeat interval (IBI) samples from 260 animals on five commercial dairy farms [smaller-scale farms with 70 (Farm 1, n = 50) and 80 cows per farm (Farm 2, n = 40), and larger-scale farms with 850 (Farm 3, n = 66), 1900 (Farm 4, n = 60) and 1200 (Farm 5, n = 45) cows. Dependent variables included HRV parameters, which reflect the activity of the autonomic nervous system: heart rate (HR), the root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD) in IBIs, the standard deviation 1 (SD1), the high frequency (HF) component of HRV and the ratio between the low frequency (LF) and the HF parameter (LF/HF). Explanatory variables were group size, space allowance, milking frequency, parity, daily milk yield, body condition score, locomotion score, farm, season and physical activity (lying, lying and rumination, standing, standing and rumination and feeding). Physical activity involved in standing, feeding and in rumination was associated with HRV parameters, indicating a decreasing sympathetic and an increasing vagal tone in the following order: feeding, standing, standing and rumination, lying and rumination, lying. Objects representing summer positioned close to HR and LF and far from SD1, RMSSD and HF indicate a higher sympathetic and a lower vagal activity. Objects representing autumn, spring and winter associated with increasing vagal activity, in this order. Time-domain measures of HRV were associated with most of the housing- and individual-related explanatory variables. Higher HR and lower RMSSD and SD1 were associated with higher group size, milking frequency, parity and milk yield, and low space allowance. Higher parity and milk yield were associated with higher sympathetic activity as well (higher LF/HF), while individuals with lower locomotion scores (lower degree of lameness) were characterized with a higher sympathetic and a lower vagal tone (higher HR and LF/HF and lower RMSSD and SD1). Our findings indicate that the CCOA method is useful in demonstrating associations between HRV and selected explanatory variables. We consider physical activity, space allowance, group size, milking frequency, parity, daily milk yield, locomotion score and season to be the most important variables in further HRV studies on dairy cows.


PubMed | MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group, Vet Med Labor Ltd., Szent Istvan University and Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Theriogenology | Year: 2015

Alpha-fetoprotein has proved to be a good indicator of fetal well-being in human medicine for decades. Although this molecule is present in most of the mammalian species including horses, reference values in healthy and high-risk pregnant mares have not yet been published. The aim of the present study was to determine whether equine alpha-fetoprotein (eqAFP) is a good indicator of complicated pregnancies in Lipizzaner mares. A total of 111 serum samples from 30 mares have been analyzed for eqAFP levels throughout gestation (Days 60-325). After the pregnancy was confirmed, 23 mares had normal pregnancies with viable foals, six had late embryonic loss, and one of the mares aborted in the ninth gestational month. Equine alpha-fetoprotein concentrations significantly differed in the normal group (72.9349.25 pg/mL; meanstandard deviation) and in the complicated pregnancy loss group (15236.48 pg/mL; meanstandard deviation). The mares age, gestational age, and the conception rate significantly affected the alpha-fetoprotein concentrations in the normal group. Furthermore, notable individual differences occurred in eqAFP concentrations between mares. Equine alpha-fetoprotein seems to be an important indicator of fetal well-being in horses, but there are still some unanswered questions (levels in foals of different age, ponies, and draft horses) regarding this serum protein. Large-scale studies are needed to assess the specificity, sensitivity, and reliability of this test as a possible future diagnostic tool for fetal well-being in horses.


PubMed | MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group and Szent Istvan University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Acta veterinaria Hungarica | Year: 2015

The aims of this study were to detect physiological changes in blood biochemical parameters throughout gestation, to compare the findings in nonpregnant and pregnant Lipizzaner mares in early-mid and late pregnancy, and to provide reference values for clinical chemistry parameters in this horse breed. A total of 136 venous blood samples were collected from 20 pregnant and 10 nonpregnant (control) asymptomatic Lipizzaner broodmares for biochemical analyses. Twelve parameters (albumin, total protein, urea, triglycerides, glucose, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate transaminase, glutamate dehydrogenase, gammaglutamyltransferase, creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase) were measured. For the statistical analyses, correlation, analysis of variance and Kruskal-Wallis H-test were used to evaluate the possible associations between parameters. Serum triglyceride levels proved to be significantly different in pregnant mares compared to the control group. Total protein and urea levels significantly decreased, while glucose, triglyceride and glutamate dehydrogenase values increased from approx. the fifth month of gestation until parturition. Four biochemical parameters (albumin, aspartate transaminase, total protein and urea) were lower and three other variables (glucose, alkaline phosphatase and creatinine) were significantly higher in late-term pregnant mares than in mares in early or mid-gestation. It is concluded that reference values not only reflect the species, breed and sex but also the reproductive status of animals.


PubMed | MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group, Szent Istvan University and University of Liège
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Theriogenology | Year: 2015

Progesterone (P4) and bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein 1 (bPAG-1) concentrations during gestation are dependent on the number of CL and fetuses, respectively. The objective of this present study was to measure and evaluate the usefulness of measuring the P4 and bPAG-1 concentrations in cases of single versus twin pregnancies and one versus two CL at the first 4 months of gestation. We hypothesized that both the number of the CL and the number of fetus might have an effect on P4 and pregnancy protein concentrations, and we can set up clinically useful threshold levels to predict twin gestations. Eighty-four Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were enrolled in this prospective observational clinical trial. Blood was collected at time point 1: between Days 29 and 42, time point 2: between Days 57 and 70, time point 3: between Days 85 and 98, and time point 4: between Days 113 and 126 of gestation, and bPAG-1 and P4 concentrations were measured. Binary logistic regression analyzing serum P4 concentrations differed at time point 2 compared with baseline level, but the area under the curve (AUC) had low sensitivity. The bPAG-1 concentrations were statistically different at each time point of gestation. The AUC cutoff values of serum bPAG-1 concentrations were sufficiently sensitive to differentiate between twin gestations from singleton ones. At time points 3 (cutoff value of 3.4 ng/mL) and 4 (cutoff value of 56.5 ng/mL), statistically significant differences with low sensitivity, high specificity, and a high AUC were found. On the basis of these results, the diagnosis of twin pregnancy using pregnancy protein measurements is clinically insufficient before Day 85 of gestation; however, the ability to confirm the early twin pregnancy diagnosis with bPAG-1 measurements appears to be promising. To achieve high sensitivity, further studies are required.


PubMed | MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group and Szent Istvan University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

From the 1990s, extensive research was started on the physiological aspects of individual traits in animals. Previous research has established two extreme (proactive and reactive) coping styles in several animal species, but the means of reactivity with the autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity has not yet been investigated in cattle. The aim of this study was the characterization of cardiac autonomic activity under different conditions in cows with different individual characteristics. For this purpose, we investigated heart rate and ANS-related heart rate variability (HRV) parameters of dairy cows (N = 282) on smaller- and larger-scale farms grouped by (1) temperament and (2) behavioural reactivity to humans (BRH). Animals with high BRH scores were defined as impulsive, while animals with low BRH scores were defined as reserved. Cardiac parameters were calculated for undisturbed lying (baseline) and for milking bouts, the latter with the presence of an unfamiliar person (stressful situation). Sympathetic tone was higher, while vagal activity was lower in temperamental cows than in calm animals during rest both on smaller- and larger-scale farms. During milking, HRV parameters were indicative of a higher sympathetic and a lower vagal activity of temperamental cows as compared to calm ones in farms of both sizes. Basal heart rate did not differ between BRH groups either on smaller- or larger-scale farms. Differences between basal ANS activity of impulsive and reserved cows reflected a higher resting vagal and lower sympathetic activity of reserved animals compared to impulsive ones both on smaller- and larger-scale farms. There was no difference either in heart rate or in HRV parameters between groups during milking neither in smaller- nor in larger-scale farms. These two groupings allowed to draw possible parallels between personality and cardiac autonomic activity during both rest and milking in dairy cows. Heart rate and HRV seem to be useful for characterisation of physiological differences related to temperament and BRH.


PubMed | Hungarian Academy of Sciences, MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group, Szent Istvan University and Agroproduct Zrt
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene | Year: 2016

The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of Bovine Herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) and Histophilus (H.) somni on fertility rate of cows in a Hungarian Holstein-Friesian dairy herd with purulent vaginal discharge (PVD). Non-pregnant cows (n = 188) with mature corpus luteum were treated with cloprostenol and 3 days later if they did not show oestrus, were examined by rectal palpation. Animals showing PVD (n = 60/31.9%/) and 14 controls with normal vaginal discharge (Score 0) were randomly selected and further examined by ultrasonography and blood samples were collected for detecting BoHV-4 DNA and transcervical guarded swabs were collected from the uterus for bacteriological examination. Although the majority of the examined animals were infected with BoHV-4 and H. somni including the control animals as well, in group of animals with PVD score 3, fewer animals became pregnant and the duration between the first treatment to pregnancy was significantly extended. Based on these clinical and comparative data, our results confirm that these two microorganisms together may impair important reproductive parameters which may cause large economic losses to dairy farms.

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