Intrauterine blood plasma platelet-therapy mitigates persistent breeding-induced endometritis, reduces uterine infections, and improves embryo recovery in Mares
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Microorganisms, including pathogenic or opportunistic bacteria and fungi, may gain access to the uterus during breeding, and infectious endometritis plays a major role in equine subfertility. This study aimed to assess the post-breeding inflammatory response, endometrial culture, and embryo recovery of mares susceptible to persistent breeding-induced endometritis (PBIE) treated with plasma-rich (PRP) or-poor (PPP) plasma. Mares (n = 12) susceptible to PBIE had three cycles randomly assigned to receive intrauterine infusions of lactate ringer solution (LRS, control), or autologous PRP or PPP pre-(−48 and −24 h) and post-breeding (6 and 24 h). Mares were bred with fresh semen from one stallion. Intrauterine fluid accumulation (IUF) and endometrial neutrophils were assessed every 24 h up to 96 h post-breeding. Uterine cytokines (Ilβ, IL6, CXCL8, and IL10) were evaluated before (0 h), 6, and 24 h post-breeding, and endometrial culture three and nine days after breed. Embryo flushing was performed 8 days post-ovulation. Data were analyzed with mixed model, Tukey’s post-hoc test, and multivariate regression. PRP treatment reduced endometrial neutrophils, post-breeding IUF, and pro-inflammatory cytokines when compared to control-assigned cycles, but not significantly different than PPP. Controls had a significantly higher percentage of positive bacterial cultures (33%) in comparison to PRP-assigned cycles (0%), whereas cycles treated with PPP were not significantly different from the other groups (25%). The PRP-assigned cycles had significantly greater embryo recovery rates (83%) than the control (33%), though not significantly different than PPP (60%). Plasma infusion reduced the duration and intensity of the post-breeding inflammatory response and improved embryo recovery in mares susceptible to PBIE. Platelets incrementally downregulate PBIE and appear to have a dose-dependent antimicrobial property.