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  • Author or Editor: Gabriele Grünig x
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The concentration of soluble fibrinogen derivatives (sfd) and protease and procoagulant activities were determined in cell-free supernatants of equine respiratory secretions obtained from horses with chronic pulmonary disease. The concentration of neutrophils was estimated from direct smears of the secretions. Lung specimens and smears of the secretions were evaluated for the presence of fibrin or fibrinogen by use of immunohistochemical methods.

Thirty-five of 80 specimens tested contained sfd. Respiratory secretions from horses with moderate or severe chronic pulmonary disease contained sfd more frequently than did secretions from mildly affected horses (P < 0.05). Respiratory secretions with vast numbers of neutrophils had significantly (P < 0.05) higher sfd concentrations than respiratory secretions with fewer neutrophils. Protease and procoagulant activities in respiratory secretion specimens were positively correlated with neutrophil content, clinical diagnosis, and sfd concentration.

Immunohistochemically, macrophages that stained for fibrin or fibrinogen were observed in direct smears of respiratory secretions from horses with moderate and severe chronic small airway disease, but not in smears from mildly affected horses. Fibrin or fibrinogen was detected in a few thickened alveolar septa from 10 horses with moderate or severe chronic small airway disease, but not in lungs from horses with mild or no evidence of chronic small airway disease. Fibrin or fibrinogen was detected in alveolar septa, granulomas, and on alveolar macrophages in lungs of all horses with chronic granulomatous and chronic bronchointerstitial pneumonia.

The presence of sfd in equine respiratory secretions may be an indicator of pulmonary inflammation.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate time-dependent alterations in gene expression of chemokines in bronchial epithelium of recurrent airway obstruction (RAO)-affected horses and whether alterations resulted from increases in gene expression of interleukin (IL)-17 in cells isolated from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF).

Animals—8 RAO-susceptible horses and 9 control horses.

Procedure—In 2 experiments, both groups of horses were evaluated after being maintained on pasture and after being stabled and fed dusty hay for 1, 14, 35, and 49 days (experiment 1) or 14 and 28 days (experiment 2). In experiment 1, gene expression of IL-8, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in epithelium and IL-8, IL-17, and TLR4 in BALF cells was measured. In experiment 2, bronchial biopsy specimens were evaluated for IL-8 immunoreactivity.

Results—In RAO-susceptible horses after 14 days of challenge exposure, there was a 3- and 10-fold increase in gene expression of IL-8 for epithelial and BALF cells and an increase in IL-8 immunoreactivity in epithelial cells. Challenge exposure failed to alter gene expression of CXCL1, GM-CSF, G-CSF, and TLR4 in epithelial cells of any horses at any time point. During challenge exposure, gene expression of BALF cell IL-17 was downregulated in control horses (day 1) and upregulated in RAO-affected horses (day 35).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Epithelial-derived IL-8 may promote airway neutrophilia, but the inciting stimulus is unlikely to be IL-17 because upregulation of this gene is subsequent to that of IL-8 in epithelial cells.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research