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Bovine fetal placenta during pregnancy and the postpartum period


Botta, Carolina; Pellegrini, Giovanni; Hässig, Michael; Pesch, Theresa; Prähauser, Barbara; Wunderlin, Sabina; Guscetti, Franco; Schneeberger, Marianne; Schmitt, Sarah; Basso, Walter; Hilbe, Monika; Schuler, Gerhard; Borel, Nicole (2019). Bovine fetal placenta during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Veterinary Pathology, 56(2):248-258.

Abstract

Bovine abortion is a worldwide problem, but despite extensive histopathologic and molecular investigations, the cause of abortion remains unclear in about 70% of cases. Cellular debris is a commonly observed histopathologic finding in the fetal placenta and is often interpreted as necrosis. In this study, the nature of this cellular debris was characterized, and histologic changes in the normal fetal placenta during pregnancy and after delivery were assessed. In addition, the presence of the most common abortifacient pathogens in Switzerland ( Chlamydiaceae, Coxiella burnetii, Neospora caninum) was tested by polymerase chain reaction. We collected 51 placentomes and 235 cotyledons from 41 and from 50 cows, respectively. In total, cellular debris was present in 48 of 51 (94%) placentomes and in 225 of 235 (96%) cotyledons, inflammation occurred in 1 of 51 (2%) placentomes and in 46 of 235 (20%) cotyledons, vasculitis was seen in 1 of 51 (2%) placentomes and 46 of 235 (20%) cotyledons, and 18 of 51 (35%) placentomes and 181 of 235 (77%) cotyledons had mineralization. The amount of cellular debris correlated with areas of positive signals for cleaved caspase 3 and lamin A. Therefore, this finding was interpreted as an apoptotic process. In total, 10 of 50 cotyledons (20%) were positive for C. burnetii DNA, most likely representing subclinical infections. The results of our study indicate that histologic features in the fetal placenta such as cellular debris, inflammation, vasculitis, and mineralization must be considered physiological processes during pregnancy and after delivery. Therefore, their presence in placentae of aborted fetuses must be interpreted with caution and might not be necessarily linked to an infectious cause of abortion.

Abstract

Bovine abortion is a worldwide problem, but despite extensive histopathologic and molecular investigations, the cause of abortion remains unclear in about 70% of cases. Cellular debris is a commonly observed histopathologic finding in the fetal placenta and is often interpreted as necrosis. In this study, the nature of this cellular debris was characterized, and histologic changes in the normal fetal placenta during pregnancy and after delivery were assessed. In addition, the presence of the most common abortifacient pathogens in Switzerland ( Chlamydiaceae, Coxiella burnetii, Neospora caninum) was tested by polymerase chain reaction. We collected 51 placentomes and 235 cotyledons from 41 and from 50 cows, respectively. In total, cellular debris was present in 48 of 51 (94%) placentomes and in 225 of 235 (96%) cotyledons, inflammation occurred in 1 of 51 (2%) placentomes and in 46 of 235 (20%) cotyledons, vasculitis was seen in 1 of 51 (2%) placentomes and 46 of 235 (20%) cotyledons, and 18 of 51 (35%) placentomes and 181 of 235 (77%) cotyledons had mineralization. The amount of cellular debris correlated with areas of positive signals for cleaved caspase 3 and lamin A. Therefore, this finding was interpreted as an apoptotic process. In total, 10 of 50 cotyledons (20%) were positive for C. burnetii DNA, most likely representing subclinical infections. The results of our study indicate that histologic features in the fetal placenta such as cellular debris, inflammation, vasculitis, and mineralization must be considered physiological processes during pregnancy and after delivery. Therefore, their presence in placentae of aborted fetuses must be interpreted with caution and might not be necessarily linked to an infectious cause of abortion.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Veterinary, Chlamydiaceae; Coxiella burnetii; Neospora caninum; abortion; cattle; cleaved caspase 3; cleaved lamin A; histology; immunohistochemistry; placenta; polymerase chain reaction; postpartum period; pregnancy
Language:English
Date:1 March 2019
Deposited On:21 Nov 2018 16:01
Last Modified:26 Feb 2019 02:03
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0300-9858
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0300985818806453
PubMed ID:30355149

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