Regulatory T lymphocytes and selected cytokines in horses with mild to severe equine asthma and different inflammatory cytology profiles 

Horses with severe equine asthma had higher concentrations of MMP-9 in the BALF.

This study determined Tregs and inflammatory cytokines in BALF and peripheral blood (PB) of adult horses with mild and severe asthma and different BALF cytological inflammation profiles.  

Horses of diverse breeds with asthma (age range: 2-20 years, n = 24) were divided into groups according to the number of points obtained in a standardized clinical scoring system (mild-moderate equine asthma - MEA, severe equine asthma - SEA) and according to the inflammation type based on cytological finding. Plasma levels of IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, IL-17 and MMP-9 in the BALF were determined by ELISA. Tregs in the BALF and PB were detected by flow cytometry.  

Horses with SEA were older than horses with MEA and had higher concentrations of MMP-9 in the BALF (P < 0.05). The neutrophilic inflammation group was characterised by higher age, grade of clinical score, percentage of Tregs and MMP-9 concentration in the BALF compared to the mastocytic inflammation group (P < 0.05). Age positively correlated with neutrophils, grade of score, Tregs in the BALF and in the PB. The grade of score positively correlated with MMP-9. The percentage of Tregs in the BALF positively correlated with Tregs in the PB. Tregs in the BALF and PB positively correlated with neutrophils and MMP-9 in the BALF and with IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-10 in the plasma. IFN-γ and IL-10 in the plasma positively correlated with the age.  

In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that the evaluation of selected parameters in PB, the collection of which is less invasive than the collection of BALF, is of potential importance. 

“Regulatory T lymphocytes and selected cytokines in horses with mild to severe equine asthma and different inflammatory cytology profiles” Pavla Hamouzová, et al. Res Vet Sci. 2023 Aug 25;163:104998. 

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