A comparison of pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression in equine bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and peripheral blood

S. Hansen, K. E. Baptiste, J. Fjeldborg, A. Betancourt, D. W. Horohov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


An imbalance in various cytokine mRNA expression in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in horses suffering from recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) has been demonstrated; however, the natural variation of cytokine expression in healthy horses has yet to be described.The objectives of this study were to: (1) identify age-related differences in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in BAL and PBMC, (2) compare the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines between BAL and PBMC, and (3) evaluate the relationship between BAL pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and BAL cytology.Cells from BAL and PBMC were collected from 66 horses and stimulated with LPS and PGN. The expression of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and TLR-4 were measured using qPCR.A significant age-related decrease for IL-1β and IL-8 in BAL, significant difference in cytokine mRNA expressions between BAL and PBMC and a significant relationship between TLR-4 and IL-8 in LPS stimulated BAL samples and the percentage of neutrophils in BAL cytology were found.In conclusion, the natural age-related decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in BAL is new knowledge; this in contrast to other age-related findings associated with PBMC, where pro-inflammatory cytokines are known to increase with age in both horses and humans, the phenomenon known as 'inflamm-aging'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S. Hansen was funded by a Danish Government PhD grant . Additional funding was generously provided by the following Danish funds: Familien Hede Nielsens Foundation , Toosbuys Foundation , Viktor A Goldschmidts foundation , Christian and Ottilia Brorsons travel fund and the Kustos foundation of 1881 . The authors are grateful to Tina Roust and Maria Rhod, laboratory technicians and students at the University Hospital for Large Animals, Faculty of Life Science, University of Copenhagen for assistance in collection and processing samples from the horses.


  • Aging
  • BAL
  • Equine
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Pro-inflammatory cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Veterinary (all)


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