The present study evaluated the impact that orchiectomy, a routine but painful intervention in bovine husbandry, can cause on pulmonary immunity. To identify whether orchiectomy can impair lung defense, analyses of serum cortisol concentration and of alveolar macrophage and their function (phagocytosis and respiratory burst) were evaluated. Sixteen Holstein bulls (7 mo old, 250±50kg of body weight BW) were divided in two homogeneous groups - the castrated group and the sham group - and the sample were collected on Days -7, 1 and 7 relative to the day of the procedure. Serum cortisol concentration statistically increased on Days 1 and 7 (D-7: 4,97±1,28ng/ml; D1: 6,35 ±1,10ng/ml; D7: 8,28±1,94ng/ml) after castration and these variables seem to impact the alveolar macrophage percentage on D1 (D-7: 76,86±3,44%; D1: 60,92±2,44%; D7: 74,17±2,56%) and their respective function of phagocytosis (P) and the oxidative burst (OB) on Days 1 and 7 for the castrated group (P D-7: 56,25±15,63 arbitrary values; D1: 54,75±14,07 arbitrary values; D7: 31,77±8,44 arbitrary values; and OB D-7: 222,34±39,52 arbitrary values; D1: 135,25±37,68 arbitrary values; D7: 117,73±18,17 arbitrary values). These results indicate that surgical castration affected lung defense until seven days after the practice, so the pulmonary cell function was impaired for a period higher than that reported in the literature.
cattle; cortisol; innate immunity; phagocytosis