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Evaluation of T-cell activation in the duodenum of dogs with cutaneous food hypersensitivity

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • | 2 Division of Immunology, Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands; and Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, Republic of South Africa.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • | 4 Department of Dermatology/Allergology, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals and Division of Immunology, Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether skin-related clinical signs in cutaneous food hypersensitivity (CFH) coincide with immune reactivity in the intestine in dogs.

Animals—11 dogs with CFH without intestinal clinical signs and 8 healthy control dogs.

Procedures—After a provocation and elimination diet, the duodenal gene expression levels of Th1-, Th2- and Treg-related cytokines and transcription factors were investigated by means of quantitative PCR assay. The presence of CD3+, CD8+, CD4+, CD1c+, γδ T-cell receptor+, and major histocompatibility complex II+ cells in duodenal epithelium and lamina propria were determined.

Results—The expression of Th1-, Th2-, and Treg-related genes in dogs with CFH and healthy control dogs was similar. Although clinical signs disappeared, there was no effect of the elimination diet on cytokines, transcription factors, or cellular phenotypes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—No change in T-cell phenotypes or a distinct Th1, Th2, or Treg profile was detected in the duodenum of dogs with only cutaneous clinical signs of food hypersensitivity. This suggested that the intestinal mucosa is not the primary site of T-cell activation that eventually leads to cutaneous food hypersensitivity.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether skin-related clinical signs in cutaneous food hypersensitivity (CFH) coincide with immune reactivity in the intestine in dogs.

Animals—11 dogs with CFH without intestinal clinical signs and 8 healthy control dogs.

Procedures—After a provocation and elimination diet, the duodenal gene expression levels of Th1-, Th2- and Treg-related cytokines and transcription factors were investigated by means of quantitative PCR assay. The presence of CD3+, CD8+, CD4+, CD1c+, γδ T-cell receptor+, and major histocompatibility complex II+ cells in duodenal epithelium and lamina propria were determined.

Results—The expression of Th1-, Th2-, and Treg-related genes in dogs with CFH and healthy control dogs was similar. Although clinical signs disappeared, there was no effect of the elimination diet on cytokines, transcription factors, or cellular phenotypes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—No change in T-cell phenotypes or a distinct Th1, Th2, or Treg profile was detected in the duodenum of dogs with only cutaneous clinical signs of food hypersensitivity. This suggested that the intestinal mucosa is not the primary site of T-cell activation that eventually leads to cutaneous food hypersensitivity.

Contributor Notes

Supported by Royal Canin, Aimargues, France.

Address correspondence to Dr. Veenhof (e.z.veenhof@uu.nl).