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Quantitative assessment of mast cells and expression of IgE protein and mRNA for IgE and interleukin 4 in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy dogs and dogs with inflammatory bowel disease

Christine LocherInstitute of Animal Breeding, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

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Andrea TipoldInstitute of Animal Neurology, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

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Monika WelleInstitute of Animal Pathology, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

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André BusatoInstitute of Animal Breeding, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

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Andreas ZurbriggenInstitute of Animal Neurology, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

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Monika E. Griot-WenkInstitute of Animal Breeding, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
Small Animal Clinics, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
Present address is HealthEcon Ltd, Steinentorstrasse 19, 4051 Basel, Switzerland.

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Abstract

Objective—To characterize the mucosal IgE network in dogs affected with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and compare it with that for healthy dogs.

Animals—9 healthy dogs and 20 dogs with IBD.

Procedure—In situ hybridization of mRNA specific for IgE and interleukin 4 (IL-4) and immunohistochemical analysis for IgE protein and 2 markers of mast cells (ie, tryptase and chymase) were performed on tissue sections obtained from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and lymph nodes of dogs.

Results—Dogs with IBD had significantly more cells positive for IgE protein and more mast cells in the GI mucosa than healthy dogs. Despite this significant increase in number of cells positive for IgE, cells positive for IgE mRNA were rarely detected in the GI mucosa; most cells positive for IgE mRNA were found in mesenteric lymph nodes. Signal pattern of IL-4 mRNA was similar to that of IgE mRNA.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The increased numbers of cells positive for IgE and mast cells in dogs with IBD suggest hypersensitivity such as hypersensitivity to bacterial or dietary-derived antigens in the intestinal lumen. Future studies need to elucidate whether this represents a cause of inflammation or is a result of the inflammatory process of IBD. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:211–216)

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the mucosal IgE network in dogs affected with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and compare it with that for healthy dogs.

Animals—9 healthy dogs and 20 dogs with IBD.

Procedure—In situ hybridization of mRNA specific for IgE and interleukin 4 (IL-4) and immunohistochemical analysis for IgE protein and 2 markers of mast cells (ie, tryptase and chymase) were performed on tissue sections obtained from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and lymph nodes of dogs.

Results—Dogs with IBD had significantly more cells positive for IgE protein and more mast cells in the GI mucosa than healthy dogs. Despite this significant increase in number of cells positive for IgE, cells positive for IgE mRNA were rarely detected in the GI mucosa; most cells positive for IgE mRNA were found in mesenteric lymph nodes. Signal pattern of IL-4 mRNA was similar to that of IgE mRNA.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The increased numbers of cells positive for IgE and mast cells in dogs with IBD suggest hypersensitivity such as hypersensitivity to bacterial or dietary-derived antigens in the intestinal lumen. Future studies need to elucidate whether this represents a cause of inflammation or is a result of the inflammatory process of IBD. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:211–216)