STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5 in naturally occurring inflammatory lesions of the bovine and ovine mammary gland


Norman Hayward Fund



Research Period


Area of study



Investigator(s): Katherine Hughes

Mastitis is the painful inflammation of the udder that usually occurs as a result of bacterial infection. The premise of this project was to better understand the biology of ruminant udder cells in health and when responding to mastitis-causing bacteria. Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (STATs) are regulators controlling a range of vital mammary functions. The project sought to demonstrate STAT functions in the ruminant udder, and in mastitis. Key findings include:

  • During udder development, STAT5 is expressed in duct epithelial cells and immune cells, implying a role in immune surveillance and providing new insights into immune protection of the immature udder.
  •  STAT3 is activated for a prolonged period during birth (when ruminants are very susceptible to mastitis) and in a subset of mastitis cases which occur during lactation. This suggests STAT3 could be a future therapeutic target for mastitis treatment.

More detailed key findings can be found in the report below.


Full Report