Med. Weter. 68 (8), 461-467, 2012

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Lisiecka U., Kostro K., Wojtaszczyk P., Żmuda A.
Flow cytometry method in the evaluation of the health status of mammary glands in ruminants
One of the practical applications of flow cytometry is the possibility of the analysis of leukocyte populations which participate in immunological phenomena in ruminant mammary glands. By use of the flow cytometry method the investigations can be conducted in a quick, precise and highly repeatable manner. Not only the quantitative assessment of immune cells present in milk is possible, but also the assessment of their qualitative variety and particular subpopulation affiliations. The differences in specific subpopulations content which are present in mammary glands in distinct physiological conditions (lactation and dry period) enable a quick and precise evaluation of immunological status and the recognition of mechanisms which take part in the immune resistance of the gland. With flow cytometry analysis of leukocyte surface antigens, apoptosis and phagocytosis, it is possible to understand the function of immune cells and immunological phenomena in mammary glands in conditions of health and disease. Flow cytometry could be successfully applied for monitoring the intensity of inflammation processes during the course of mastitis and causal and symptomatic therapy effectiveness assessment. Thus it creates new possibilities for developing more efficient treatment and prevention strategies for mastitis, which is of great significance in the dairy industry because of the possibility of preventing economic losses and increasing the safety of dairy products of animal origin.
Key words: ruminants, mammary gland, leukocyte populations, immunological phenomena, flow cytometry