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https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.22.0368    [Accepted] Published online January 8, 2023.
Effect of knife castration on leukocyte cytokine expression and indicators of stress, pain, and inflammation in Korean cattle bull calves
Seonpil Yoo1,4  , Seok-Hyeon Beak1  , Hyeok Joong Kang1  , Da Jin Sol Jung1  , Dilla Mareistia Fassah1  , Inhyuk Jeong1  , Seung Ju Park1  , Md Najmul Haque1  , Myunghoo Kim3  , Myunggi Baik1,2,* 
1Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
2Institutes of Green Bio Science Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do 25354, Korea
3Department of Animal Science, College of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Pusan National University, Miryang 50463, Korea
4Animal Welfare Program, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4
Correspondence:  Myunggi Baik, Tel: +82-2-880-4809, Fax: +82-2-872-8583, Email: mgbaik@snu.ac.kr
Received: 20 September 2022   • Revised: 21 October 2022   • Accepted: 16 November 2022
This study investigated the effects of surgical castration on behavior, physiological and inflammatory indicators, and leukocyte cytokine mRNA levels in Korean cattle bull calves.
Nineteen Korean cattle bull calves (average body weight, 254.5 kg; average age, 8.2 months) were divided into two treatment groups: control (n = 9) and castration (n = 10). Surgical castration was performed using Newberry knives and a Henderson castrating tool. Blood was obtained just before castration (0 h) and at 0.5 h, 6 h, 1 d, 3 d, 7 d, and 14 d after castration. Plasma cortisol (PC), saliva cortisol (SC), plasma substance P, and plasma haptoglobin concentrations, and the leucocyte mRNA levels of the interleukin-1-alpha (IL1A), interleukin-1-beta (IL1B), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN), and interleukin-6 (IL6) genes were analyzed.
Castration decreased (p<0.01) the average daily gain and gain/feed ratio. Castration reduced the time spent eating (p<0.001) and the eating frequency (p<0.01), and increased (p<0.001) the lying frequency. Castration temporarily increased (p<0.05) circulating PC and SC concentrations at 0.5 h after castration. Castration temporarily increased (p<0.05) plasma substance P concentrations at 1 d after castration. Castration increased (p<0.05) plasma haptoglobin concentrations at 1 and 3 d after castration. Castration increased (p<0.05) leukocyte mRNA levels of the IL1A, IL1B, IL1RN, and IL6 genes at 6 h after castration.
Castration temporarily induced stress and expression of leucocyte inflammatory cytokine genes in Korean cattle bull calves.
Keywords: Castration Stress; Cytokine Gene Expression; Inflammation; Korean Cattle Calves

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