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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.


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.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To develop a method to maintain the initial phenotype of airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells isolated from equine endobronchial biopsy specimens in long-term cell culture.

SAMPLE Endobronchial tissue specimens (8 to 10/horse) collected from the lungs of previously healthy horses at necropsy (n = 12) and endobronchial biopsy specimens collected from standing, sedated, heaves-affected horses in clinical remission of the disease (5) and control horses (4).

PROCEDURES A sampling protocol was developed to recover and maintain a contractile phenotype in ASM cells from endobronchial specimens from freshly harvested equine lungs and from healthy and heaves-affected horses. Immunologic techniques were used to evaluate the contractile phenotype of ASM cells in culture.

RESULTS Characteristic ASM cells were successfully cultured from endobronchial tissue or biopsy specimens from both healthy and heaves-affected horses, and their contractile phenotype was maintained for up to 7 passages. Moreover, the capacity of cells at the seventh passage to contract in a collagen gel in response to methacholine was maintained.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE ASM cells isolated from equine endobronchial tissue and biopsy specimens were able to maintain a contractile phenotype in long-term cell cultures, suggesting they could be used for tissue engineering and in vitro studies of equine ASM cells.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research