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Abstract

Objective

To investigate the distribution of IgA- and IgG-containing cells and T cells in the villi of duodenal mucosa from healthy dogs and from dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or gastroenteritis.

Design

Case-control study.

Animals

28 dogs, grouped according to clinical and histologic criteria: 11 dogs with IBD, 8 dogs with nonspecific gastroenteritis, and 9 healthy dogs.

Procedure

Endoscopic biopsy specimens of duodenal mucosa from each dog were stained specifically for IgA and IgG heavy chains and pan T-cell (CD3) antigen, using immunoperoxidase techniques. Morphometric analysis, performed via an image-analysis system, was used to count IgA- and IgG-containing cells and T cells within paired contiguous villi from each dog.

Results

T cells were the predominant immune cell type in all groups of dogs. Significant differences in the villus distribution of IgA- and IgG-containing cells and T cells were not observed. Healthy dogs had significantly higher T-cell counts than had dogs with IBD or gastroenteritis. Dogs with nonspecific gastroenteritis had a significantly higher concentration of IgA-containing cells than the other groups of dogs had. Significant group differences for IgG-containing cells also were evident, with dogs with IBD having the lowest cell counts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

High concentrations of IgA- and IgG-containing cells and T cells in the villus lamina propria cannot be reliably used to distinguish IBD from other intestinal disorders in dogs. Evaluation of T cells may be the most discriminatory method for differentiating dogs with IBD from clinically normal dogs via examination of intestinal biopsy specimens. (Am J Vet Res 1996; 57:697–704)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research