To use a biopolymer delivery system to investigate the ability of interleukin (IL)-4 to recruit neutrophils into subcutaneous tissues of equids.
16 horses and 2 ponies.
Animals were assigned to 3 experiments (6/experiment). Effects of recombinant equine (Req) IL-4 (100, 250, or 500 ng/site) versus a positive control (ReqIL-8; 100 ng, 250 ng, or 1 μg/site) and a negative control (Dulbecco PBSS or culture medium) on neutrophil chemotaxis were assessed after SC injection into the neck with an injectable biopolymer used as the vehicle. Tissue samples including the biopolymer plug were collected by biopsy at various time points from 3 hours to 7 days after injection. Neutrophil infiltration was evaluated by histologic scoring (experiments 1, 2, and 3) or flow cytometry (experiment 3).
Histologic neutrophil infiltration scores did not differ significantly among treatments at most evaluated time points. On flow cytometric analysis, log-transformed neutrophil counts in biopsy specimens were significantly greater for the ReqIL-8 treatment (1 μg/site) than the negative control treatment at 3 but not 6 hours after injection; results did not differ between ReqIL-4 and control treatments at either time point. Negative control treatments induced an inflammatory response in most equids in all experiments.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Flow cytometry was a more reliable method to estimate neutrophil migration than histologic score analysis. The ReqIL-4 treatment did not induce a detectable neutrophil response, compared with the negative control treatment in this study. Evidence of inflammation in negative control samples suggested the biopolymer is not a suitable vehicle for use in equids.