Scientists probe immunological basis of recurrent airway obstruction in horses

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Enhanced Interleukin-17 (IL-17) immunoreactivity in lymph node sections of horses affected by recurrent airway obstruction. (A) Lymph node tissue from a control horse shows no evidence of IL-17 immunofluorescence. (B) Lymph node tissue from one RAO-affected horse exhibits widespread extracellular IL-17 immunofluorescence (red staining). (C) Lymph node tissue from another RAO-affected horse exhibits denser, widespread IL-17 immunofluorescence (red). All photomicrographs, at 200 times magnification, are counterstained with Texas Red and Dapi. Images: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142622.g003
Enhanced Interleukin-17 (IL-17) immunoreactivity in lymph node sections of horses affected by recurrent airway obstruction. (A) Lymph node tissue from a control horse shows no evidence of IL-17 immunofluorescence. (B) Lymph node tissue from one RAO-affected horse exhibits widespread extracellular IL-17 immunofluorescence (red staining). (C) Lymph node tissue from another RAO-affected horse exhibits denser, widespread IL-17 immunofluorescence (red). All photomicrographs, at 200 times magnification, are counterstained with Texas Red and Dapi. Images: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142622.g003

American researchers have identified the cytokine Interleukin-17 as one component of the chronic inflammatory response that occurs in cases of recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) in horse.

The Cornell University research team based their findings on genetic testing and other microscopic analysis of chest lymph nodes from horses affected by the troubling pulmonary inflammatory condition that afflicts certain mature horses exposed to organic dust particulates in hay.

Alexandra Korn, Donald Miller, Lynn Dong, Elizabeth Louise Buckles, Bettina Wagner and Dorothy Marie Ainsworth set out in the study to gain insights into the immunological basis underlying chronic, active RAO in horses

The researchers, writing in the peer-reviewed open-access journal, PLOS ONE, said their data suggested that
the cytokine Interleukin-17 was one component of the chronic inflammatory response in RAO.

Cytokines are a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins secreted by specific cells of immune system. They are a category of signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity, inflammation and elements of blood cell production.

They said understanding the involvement of Interleukin-17 in the progression of the disease may encourage the development of new therapeutic approaches for management of RAO in horses and occupational asthma in humans.

Korn A, Miller D, Dong L, Buckles EL, Wagner B, Ainsworth DM (2015) Differential Gene Expression Profiles and Selected Cytokine Protein Analysis of Mediastinal Lymph Nodes of Horses with Chronic Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO) Support an Interleukin-17 Immune Response. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0142622. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142622

The full study can be read here.

 

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