OBJECTIVE To evaluate a method for identifying intact and degranulated eosinophils in the small intestine of dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by use of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against eosinophil peroxidase (EPX).
ANIMALS 11 untreated dogs with IBD, 5 dogs with IBD treated with prednisolone, and 8 control dogs with no clinical evidence of gastrointestinal tract disease and no immunosuppressive treatment.
PROCEDURES 4-μm-thick sections of paraffin-embedded tissues from necropsy specimens were immunostained with EPX mAb. Stained intact and degranulated eosinophils in consecutive microscopic fields (400X magnification) of the upper (villus tips) and lower (between the muscularis mucosae and crypts) regions of the lamina propria of the jejunum were manually counted.
RESULTS Compared with control and treated IBD dogs, untreated IBD dogs had a significantly higher number of degranulated eosinophils in the lower region of the lamina propria. However, no significant differences were detected in the number of intact eosinophils in this region among groups. In the upper region of the lamina propria, untreated IBD dogs had a significantly higher number of degranulated and intact eosinophils, compared with control and treated IBD dogs. Number of degranulated and intact eosinophils did not differ significantly between control and treated IBD dogs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Immunohistologic analysis with EPX mAb yielded prominent granule staining that allowed reliable morphological identification of degranulated and intact eosinophils, which may provide a strategy for quantitative and selective evaluation of eosinophils in gastrointestinal biopsy specimens and a potential method to diagnose IBD and evaluate treatment outcome.