Indexed on: 15 Sep '05Published on: 15 Sep '05Published in: Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Heaves, a condition associated with airway neutrophilia, is believed to result from an allergic response to environmental dust particles. However, the contribution of neutrophils to the allergic response is poorly understood. It has been hypothesized that Th2-type cytokines can directly activate neutrophils to produce pro-inflammatory mediators. The present study focused on the presence of receptors for the Th2-type cytokines interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-9 on peripheral blood neutrophils of horses with heaves. Neutrophils were isolated from peripheral blood of horses with heaves (n=7), and normal control (n=5) before (pasture) and 3 weeks following a continuous natural allergen challenge (stabling). Horses with heaves had significantly increased numbers of neutrophils expressing IL-5 and IL-9 receptors compared to control while in pasture, and further increased during stabling in heaves affected horses but not in control animals. These results provide a possible mechanism by which Th2-type cytokines may activate neutrophils in equine heaves.