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Lymphocyte alterations in horses with COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common problem in horses all over the world. Many causes have already be identified, and also a number of laboratory findings in these patients have been described. This is a very interesting study evaluating the alterations in lymphocyte subsets as well in the peripheral blood as in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and in pulmonary biopsy frozen tissue sections.

The lymphocate subsets were investigated by using monoclonal antibodies to identify CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, and surface immunoglobulin positive (sIg+) lymphocytes.

COPD-affected horses (n = 5) and normal controls (n = 5) were sampled prestabling and 14 days poststabling, at which time the COPD-affected horses wee exhibiting clinical signs of COPD. The peripheral blood absolute CD4+ lymphocyte count was significantly elevated in the COPD-affected horses pre- and poststabling.

The CD4:CD8 ratio in peripheral blood of COPD-affect horses was unaffected by stabling, but the same ratio in the control horses was significantly decreased.

These findings support a hypothesis of deficient regulation of a systemic immune response to indoor air in the COPD-affected horses.

A large population of leukocytes in pulmonary biopsy immunohistochemical sections from both groups of horses appeared to be CD3+ CD4- CD8-, an uncommon phenotype in both the peripheral blood and BALF.




Source: J. L. Watson, J. L. Stott, M. T. Blanchard, J. P. Lavoie, W. D. Wilson, L. J. Gershwin and D. W. Wilson (1997): Phenotypic characterization of lymphocyte subpopulations in horses affected with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in normal controls. In: Veterinary Pathology, Vol 34, Issue 2 108-116.




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EQUINE

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