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  • Author or Editor: Korinn E. Saker x
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Objective—To compare results of a nonradioactive colorimetric microplate assay with results of a traditional radioactive proliferation assay for determination of its use as a reliable and accurate alternative method for determination of proliferative activity of feline lymphocytes.

Sample Population—Blood samples from 10 clinically normal domestic shorthair cats.

Procedure—Double-density gradient separation was used to isolate mononuclear cells. Isolated cells were stimulated with various concentrations of concanavalin A (Con-A) and cultured for 72 hours. Lymphocyte proliferation was measured by radioactive ([3H]thymidine) and nonradioactive (colorimetric) techniques. Immunophenotypic analysis with felinespecific CD4+ and CD8+ monoclonal antibody was performed, using flow cytometry.

Results—Mononuclear cells were successfully isolated (97 to 99% purity and viability) from blood samples. A similar dose-dependent proliferative response to Con-A stimulation was measured with [3H]thymidine incorporation and the colorimetric assay. For both techniques, concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 µg of Con-A/ml were submitogenic, and 100 µg/ml was toxic to cultured cells. For both techniques, maximal proliferation was observed with 5 µg of Con-A/ml.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—These results indicate that the nonradioactive colorimetric technique is a reliable and accurate method for measuring proliferative activity of feline lymphocytes. Clinically, this assay can be used as part of a screening process to determine immunocompetence of at-risk cats and to evaluate treatments for cats with immune-mediated or T-cell-dependent diseases. (Am J Vet Res 2001; 62:567–571)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—An 8-month-old Shetland Sheepdog was evaluated because of the sudden onset of signs of neck pain, collapse, and inability to rise. A cursory diet history indicated that the dog had been fed a raw meat–based diet.

Clinical Findings—Initial evaluation of the dog revealed small physical stature, thin body condition, and signs of cranial cervical myelopathy. Radiographically, diffuse osteopenia of all skeletal regions was identified; polyostotic deformities associated with fracture remodeling were observed in weight-bearing bones, along with an apparent floating dental arcade. Hypocalcemia and hypophosphatemia were detected via serum biochemical analyses. The dog's diet was imbalanced in macronutrients and macrominerals.

Treatment and Outcome—The dog received supportive care and treatment of medical complications; neurologic abnormalities improved rapidly without intervention. Dietary changes were implemented during hospitalization, and a long-term feeding regimen was established. Following discharge from the hospital, exercise restriction was continued at home. Serial follow-up evaluations, including quantitative bone density measurements, revealed that dietary changes were effective. After 7 months, the dog was clinically normal.

Clinical Relevance—In the dog of this report, vitamin D–dependent rickets type I and suspected nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism developed following intake of a nutritionally incomplete and unbalanced diet. The raw meat–based, home-prepared diet fed to the dog was not feed-trial tested for any life stage by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, and its gross nutrient imbalance induced severe metabolic, orthopedic, and neurologic abnormalities. Inadvertent malnutrition can be avoided through proper diet assessment and by matching nutrient profiles with patients' nutritional needs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the effects of hypothyroidism on insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and concentrations of hormones counter-regulatory to insulin in dogs.

Animals—8 anestrous mixed-breed bitches with experimentally induced hypothyroidism and 8 euthyroid control dogs.

Procedures—The insulin-modified frequently sampled IV glucose tolerance test and minimal model analysis were used to determine basal plasma insulin and glucose concentrations, acute insulin response to glucose, insulin sensitivity, glucose effectiveness, and disposition index. Growth hormone response was assessed by stimulation and suppression tests. Additionally, basal serum growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations and urine cortisol-to-creatinine concentration ratios were measured and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry was performed to evaluate body composition.

Results—Insulin sensitivity was lower in the hypothyroid group than in the euthyroid group, whereas acute insulin response to glucose was higher. Glucose effectiveness and disposition index were not different between groups. Basal serum GH and IGF-1 concentrations as well as abdominal fat content were high in hypothyroid dogs, but urine cortisol-to-creatinine concentration ratios were unchanged.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hypothyroidism appeared to negatively affect glucose homeostasis by inducing insulin resistance, but overall glucose tolerance was maintained by increased insulin secretion in hypothyroid dogs. Possible factors affecting insulin sensitivity are high serum GH and IGF-1 concentrations and an increase in abdominal fat. In dogs with diseases involving impaired insulin secretion such as diabetes mellitus, concurrent hypothyroidism can have important clinical implications.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research