Objective—To compare concentrations of interleukin (IL)-4, interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and total nitric oxide (NO) metabolites in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) for discrimination between asthma and chronic bronchitis in cats.
Procedures—Cats screened with cytologic examination of BALF included 13 client-owned cats with naturally developing asthma, 8 client-owned cats with chronic bronchitis, 23 research cats with experimentally induced asthma, 33 research cats with experimentally induced nonseptic suppurative inflammation of the airways, and 20 healthy control cats. Banked unconcentrated BALF supernatant samples were assayed for concentrations of IL-4, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and total NO metabolites.
Results—Concentrations of IL-4 and IFN-γ in BALF were less than the limits of detection for most cats, precluding statistical analysis. No significant differences were detected among groups for TNF-α concentrations. Concentrations of total NO metabolites were significantly higher in cats with clinical chronic bronchitis, compared with research cats with nonseptic suppurative inflammation or research cats with asthma.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—There were no significant differences in tested biomarkers between cats with asthma and healthy control cats. None of the measured cytokines or NO metabolites were useful for discriminating between cats with naturally developing asthma and those with chronic bronchitis.