[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a severe and progressive respiratory disease with poor prognosis. Despite the positive outcomes from recent clinical trials, there is still no cure for this disease. Pre-clinical animal models are currently largely limited to small animals which have a number of shortcomings. We have previously shown that fibrosis is induced in isolated sheep lung segments 14 days after bleomycin treatment. This study aimed to determine whether bleomycin-induced fibrosis and associated functional changes persisted over a seven-week period. Methods: Two separate lung segments in nine sheep received two challenges two weeks apart of either, 3U bleomycin (BLM), or saline (control). Lung function in these segments was assessed by a wedged-bronchoscope procedure after bleomycin treatment. Lung tissue, and an ex vivo CT analysis were used to assess for the persistence of inflammation, fibrosis and collagen content in this model. Results: Fibrotic changes persisted up to seven weeks in bleomycin-treated isolated lung segments (Pathology scores: bleomycin12.27 ± 0.07 vs. saline 4.90 ± 1.18, n = 9, p = 0.0003). Localization of bleomycin-induced injury and increased tissue density was confirmed by CT analysis (mean densitometric CT value: bleomycin −698 ± 2.95 Hounsfield units vs. saline −898 ± 2.5 Hounsfield units, p = 0.02). Masson's trichrome staining revealed increased connective tissue in bleomycin segments, compared to controls (% blue staining/total field area: 8.5 ± 0.8 vs. 2.1 ± 0.2 %, n = 9, p < 0.0001). bleomycin-treated segments were significantly less compliant from baseline at 7 weeks post treatment compared to control-treated segments (2.05 ± 0.88 vs. 4.97 ± 0.79 mL/cmH20, n = 9, p = 0.002). There was also a direct negative correlation between pathology scores and segmental compliance. Conclusions: We show that there is a correlation between fibrosis and correspondingly poor lung function which persist for up to seven weeks after bleomycin treatment in this large animal model of pulmonary fibrosis.
BMC Pulmonary Medicine 01/2015; 15(81). DOI:10.1186/s12890-015-0071-6 · 2.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Idiopathic Pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal respiratory disease, characterized by a progressive fibrosis and worsening lung function. While the outcomes of recent clinical trials have resulted in therapies to slow the progression of the disease, there is still a need to develop alternative therapies, which are able to prevent fibrosis. Aim: This study uses a segmental lung infusion of bleomycin (BLM) to investigate pulmonary fibrosis in a physiologically relevant large animal species. Methods: Two separate lung segments in eight sheep received two fortnightly challenges of either 3U or 30U BLM per segment, and a third segment received saline (control). Lung function was assessed using a wedged-bronchoscope procedure. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissue were assessed for inflammation, fibrosis and collagen content two weeks after the final dose of BLM. Results: Instillation of both BLM doses resulted in prominent fibrosis in the treated lobes. More diffuse fibrosis and loss of alveolar airspace was observed in high-dose BLM-treated segments, while multifocal fibrosis was seen in low-dose BLM-treated segments. Extensive and disorganised collagen deposition occurred in the BLM-treated lobes, compared to controls. Significant loss of lung compliance was also observed in the BLM-treated lobes, which did not occur in controls. Conclusions: Fibrosis comparable to IPF was induced into isolated lung segments, without compromising the respiratory functioning of the animal. This model may have potential for investigating novel therapies for IPF by allowing direct comparison of multiple treatments with internal controls, and sampling and drug delivery that are clinically relevant.
Experimental Lung Research 12/2014; 41(3). DOI:10.3109/01902148.2014.985806 · 1.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection with H5N1 influenza virus is often fatal to poultry with death occurring in hours rather than days. However, whilst chickens may be acutely susceptible, ducks appear to be asymptomatic to H5N1. The mechanisms of disease pathogenesis are not well understood and the variation between different species requires investigation to help explain these species differences. Here we investigated the expression of several key proinflammatory cytokines of chickens and ducks following infection with 2 highly-pathogenic H5N1 (A/Muscovy duck/Vietnam/453/2004 (Vt453) and A/Duck/Indramayu/BBVW/109/2006 (Ind109)) and a low-pathogenic H5N3 influenza virus (A/Duck/Victoria/1462/2008 (Vc1462)). H5N1 viruses caused fatal infections in chickens as well as high viral loads and increased production of proinflammatory molecules when compared to ducks. Cytokines, including Interleukin 6 (IL6) and the acute phase protein Serum Amyloid A (SAA), were rapidly induced at 24 hours post infection with H5N1. In contrast, low induction of these cytokines appeared in ducks and only at later times during the infection period. These observations support that hypercytokinemia may contribute to pathogenesis in chickens, whilst the lower cytokine response in ducks may be a factor in their apparent resistance to disease and decreased mortality.
Virus Research 06/2014; 185. DOI:10.1016/j.virusres.2014.03.012 · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms of disease severity caused by H5N1 influenza virus infection remain somewhat unclear. Studies have indicated that a high viral load and an associated hyper inflammatory immune response are influential during the onset of infection. This dysregulated inflammatory response with increased levels of free radicals, such as nitric oxide (NO), appears likely to contribute to disease severity. However, enzymes of the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) family such as the inducible form of NOS (iNOS) generate NO, which serves as a potent anti-viral molecule to combat infection in combination with acute phase proteins and cytokines. Nevertheless, excessive production of iNOS and subsequent high levels of NO during H5N1 infection may have negative effects, acting with other damaging oxidants to promote excessive inflammation or induce apoptosis.
There are dramatic differences in the severity of disease between chickens and ducks following H5N1 influenza infection. Chickens show a high level of mortality and associated pathology, whilst ducks show relatively minor symptoms. It is not clear how this varying pathogenicty comes about, although it has been suggested that an overactive inflammatory immune response to infection in the chicken, compared to the duck response, may be to blame for the disparity in observed pathology. In this study, we identify and investigate iNOS gene expression in ducks and chickens during H5N1 influenza infection. Infected chickens show a marked increase in iNOS expression in a wide range of organs. Contrastingly, infected duck tissues have lower levels of tissue related iNOS expression.
The differences in iNOS expression levels observed between chickens and ducks during H5N1 avian influenza infection may be important in the inflammatory response that contributes to the pathology. Understanding the regulation of iNOS expression and its role during H5N1 influenza infection may provide insights for the development of new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of avian influenza infection.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e14561. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0014561 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been well characterised in mammals, less work has been carried out in non-mammalian species, such as chickens. In this study the response of chicken cells to the TLR9 subfamily of ligands was characterised in vitro and in ovo. It was found that even though chickens appear to have only one functional receptor to represent the TLR9 subfamily, stimulation of chicken splenocytes with TLR7 and TLR9 ligands induced proinflammatory cytokine production and cell proliferation, similar to that observed when the homologous mammalian receptors are stimulated. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the in ovo administration of these TLR ligands elicits a response, such as cytokine production, that can be detected post-hatch. The current knowledge of the action of TLR ligands in mammals, in conjunction with their immunomodulating ability shown in this study, draws attention to their potential use as therapeutic agents for the poultry industry.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viral infections in chickens pose a major health threat to the poultry industry. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) usually causes respiratory disease; however, the disease severity is influenced by the genotype of the chicken and the IBV strain involved. Nephropathogenic strains of IBV, such as the Australian T strain, can cause high mortalities due to kidney failure characterized by mononuclear cell infiltration and inflammation. In a previous study, a line of specific pathogen-free chickens, the S-line, was shown to be susceptible to high mortalities from IBV infection. The cause of these high mortalities is unknown but it is suspected that differential cytokine expression may play a role. With this in mind, we decided to study the role of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 during infection to determine its contribution to nephritis and influence on disease susceptibility. To investigate this, we infected the susceptible S-line and the more disease-resilient HWL line with the T strain of IBV and measured their cytokine response levels. In both lines of birds, IL-6 mRNA levels were elevated in the kidneys at 4 d postinfection. However, in S-line chickens, these levels were 20 times higher than those in the HWL chickens. In addition, S-line birds also showed three times higher serum IL-6 levels than HWL birds after IBV infection. These findings suggest that IL-6 may play a role in IBV-induced nephritis and may open an avenue to develop alternative strategies, such as the use of antiinflammatory cytokines, to overcome the nephropathogenic effects of IBV.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The worldwide trend towards a reduced reliance on in-feed antibiotics has increased the pressure to develop alternative strategies to manage infectious diseases in poultry. With this in mind, there is a great emphasis on vaccine use and the enhancement of existing vaccines to provide long-term protection. Currently existing adjuvants for poultry can have deleterious side-effects, such as inflammation, resulting in the down-grading of meat quality and a subsequent reduction in profits. Therefore, to enhance the use of vaccination, alternative adjuvants must be developed. The use of recombinant cytokines as adjuvants in poultry is attracting considerable attention, and their potential role as such has been addressed by several studies. The recent identification of a number of chicken cytokine genes has provided the possibility to study their effectiveness in enhancing the immune response during infection and vaccination. This review focuses on the recent studies involving the assessment of cytokines as vaccine adjuvants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytokines, as immune activators, have been investigated in mammalian systems as natural adjuvants and therapeutics. In particular, interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been studied widely as a vaccine adjuvant and immuno-enhancer because of its role in activating T cell proliferation. We show here that the first nonmammalian IL-2 gene cloned, chicken IL-2 (ChIL-2), exhibits similar biologic activities to those of mammalian IL-2. To assess the activities of ChIL-2 in vivo, we injected birds with recombinant ChIL-2 (rChIL-2) protein. rChIL-2 treatment induced peripheral blood lymphocytes to express cell surface IL-2 receptors (IL-2R) within 48 h and resulted in an increase in the proportion of peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation as a measurement of cell proliferation, we showed the increase in T cell populations to be due to cell proliferation. The ability of ChIL-2 to cause both activation and proliferation of T cells in vivo indicates that it has the potential to be used as an immune activator.
Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research 08/2002; 22(7):755-63. DOI:10.1089/107999002320271341 · 3.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apoptosis plays a crucial role in both the development and the control of the immune system. During T lymphocyte development, thymocytes undergo apoptosis as part of the process of elimination of self-reactive clones. Mature T cells also undergo apoptosis following antigen-stimulated proliferation as part of a mechanism that controls the immune response. Apoptosis also provides a defense mechanism against viruses whereby the rapid death of virus-infected cells reduces virus spread. Viruses, on the other hand, often express proteins that inhibit apoptosis of their host cells, thereby enhancing their infectivity. We have isolated a novel gene, ita (inhibitor of T cell apoptosis), which is a vertebrate homologue of the viral apoptosis inhibitor IAP. Expression of ita appears to be restricted to cells of the T lymphocyte lineage, and high levels of ita mRNA are induced within 4-8 hr of T cell activation. Immunohistologic studies show that medullary and cortical thymocytes express detectable levels of ITA. ITA is a 69 kDa protein that contains a C-terminal ring-finger motif that is found in several oncogenic proteins and N-terminal repeat elements that have only been reported in other apoptosis inhibitors. These findings suggest that ITA may play a role in controlling apoptosis in T cells.
DNA and Cell Biology 12/1996; 15(11):981-8. DOI:10.1089/dna.1996.15.981 · 1.99 Impact Factor