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Evaluation of lymphocyte apoptosis in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease

Julien R. Dandrieux Dr med vet1, Valérie F. Bornand Dr med vet2, Marcus G. Doherr Dr med vet, PhD3, Rui Kano DVM, PhD4, Andreas Zurbriggen Dr med vet5, and Iwan A. Burgener Dr med vet, PhD6
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  • 1 Division of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  • | 2 Institute of Animal Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  • | 3 Division of Clinical Research, Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  • | 4 Department of Pathobiology, Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan.
  • | 5 Division of Clinical Research, Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  • | 6 Division of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether lymphocyte apoptosis in intestinal mucosae is more common in healthy dogs than dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and whether numbers of apoptotic cells increase after successful treatment of affected dogs.

Animals—8 dogs with IBD (IBD dogs) and 8 healthy control dogs.

Procedures—Biopsy specimens of the duodenum and colon were obtained via endoscopy from dogs with IBD before and after 10 weeks of standard treatment and compared with specimens obtained from control dogs. Expression of activated caspase 3 (Casp3), caspase-cleaved fragment p85 from poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), and B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) was measured in the duodenal (villous tip and base) and colonic mucosae.

Results—Expression of Casp3 was greater in the duodenal villous tips of control dogs, compared with expression in similar tissues from dogs with IBD before or after treatment. Despite clinical improvement of dogs with IBD, expression of Casp3 did not increase after treatment. Expression of PARP did not differ between groups at any time point. Expression of Bcl-2 was greater at all 3 tissue sites in control dogs, compared with expression at the same sites in dogs with IBD. Furthermore, Bcl-2 expression in duodenal villous tips was higher in dogs with IBD after treatment but was not higher elsewhere. In control dogs, expression patterns for all 3 markers were similar between sites (villous tip > villous base > colon).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Expression of Casp3 in lymphocytes in duodenal villous tips was significantly reduced in dogs with IBD, compared with expression in healthy dogs, but no increase was detected following successful treatment of IBD. Increased expression of Bcl-2 may be a potential marker of the success of treatment.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part at the 25th Annual Forum of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Seattle, June 2007.

The authors would like to thank Dr. Magalie Krayer for developing part of the laboratory protocols and Valérie Juillerat for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Burgener.