[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.
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.
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.
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.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · BMC Pulmonary Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal precursor cells (MPC) are reported to possess immunomodulatory properties that may prove beneficial in autoimmune and other inflammatory conditions. However, their mechanism of action is poorly understood. A collagen-induced arthritis model has been previously developed which demonstrates local joint inflammation and systemic inflammatory changes. These include not only increased levels of inflammatory markers, but also vascular endothelial cell dysfunction, characterised by reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilation. This study aimed to characterise the changes in systemic inflammatory markers and endothelial function following the intravenous administration of MPC, in the ovine model.
[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.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Experimental Lung Research
[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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Collagen Induced Arthritis (CIA) is the most studied and used rheumatoid arthritis (RA) model in animals, as it shares many pathological and immunological features of the human disease. The aim of this study was to characterize clinical and immunological aspects of the ovine CIA model, and develop lameness and histopathological scoring systems, in order to validate this model for use in therapeutic trials. Sheep were sensitized to bovine type II collagen (BCII), arthritis was induced by injection of bovine collagen type II into the hock joint and the response was followed for two weeks. Clinical signs of lameness and swelling were evident in all sheep and gross thickening of the synovium surrounding the tibiotarsal joint and erosion on the cartilage surface in the arthritic joints. Leukocyte cell counts were increased in synovial fluid and there was synovial hyperplasia, thickening of the intimal layer, inflammation and marked angiogenesis in the synovial tissue. There was a large influx of monocytes and lymphocytes into the synovial tissue, and increased expression of TNF-α and IL-1β in arthritic intima, angiogenesis and upregulation of VCAM-1. CIA in sheep appears to be an excellent large animal model of RA and has the potential for testing biological therapeutics for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) induces systemic inflammation, producing a range of co-morbidities including cardiovascular disease. An early vascular change is endothelial dysfunction, characterized by reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilation. The aim of this study was to assess endothelial function in isolated coronary and digital arteries using an ovine model of collagen-induced RA.
Sheep were culled following induction of arthritis, and their endothelial function was compared to that of normal sheep. Paired arterial segments were mounted in a wire myograph and dilated with endothelium-dependent vasodilators [bradykinin, serotonin, carbachol and adenosine diphosphate (ADP); linked to either Gi or Gq signalling pathways] and endothelium-independent dilators (adenosine and sodium nitroprusside) to construct cumulative concentration-response curves.
Coronary arteries from arthritic sheep exhibited a significantly greater EC50 value for bradykinin-induced relaxation compared to non-arthritic controls (2.9 × 10(-8) M for arthritic sheep vs. 8.6 × 10(-9) M for controls). Digital arteries from arthritic sheep also exhibited a significantly greater EC50 for relaxation to ADP and a significant decrease in the carbachol maximal response. Responses to sodium nitroprusside were unchanged in both coronary and digital arteries.
Sheep with RA demonstrated attenuated arterial relaxation to endothelium-dependent vasodilators. This may provide a useful model of endothelial dysfunction in chronic inflammatory conditions. The dysfunction did not appear to be associated with one specific G-protein signalling pathway.
No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Vascular Research
[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.
[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.
No preview · Article · May 2009 · Developmental and comparative immunology
[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.
No preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Viral Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the fetus the peripheral T cell pool expands as the fetus grows, but the mechanisms that regulate T cell homeostasis during fetal life are unknown. Here, we show that the peripheral T cell pool in the sheep fetus is established by the export from the fetal thymus of twice as many CD8+ as CD4+ thymic emigrants every day. Clonal deletion of CD4+ thymocytes in the fetal thymus appeared to be more stringent than was the case for CD8+ thymocytes because only 1 in 35 single-positive CD4 (SPCD4) thymocytes was exported from the thymus whereas the majority (2/3) of the single-positive CD8 (SPCD8) thymocytes were exported from the fetal thymus each day. Furthermore, within the thymus, the number of apoptotic SPCD4 thymocytes was 40 times greater than the number of apoptotic SPCD8 thymocytes. A tissue-specific migration of CD8+ emigrants localizing in the spleen was also established in the fetus in contrast to CD4+ emigrants, which migrated randomly to spleen and LN.
No preview · Article · Sep 2006 · European Journal of Immunology
[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.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2005 · Immunology and Cell Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we describe an in situ procedure with a labeling index (percent of labeled blood leukocytes) >98%, which is high enough to permit the direct tracking of dendritic cell (DC) precursors from blood into lymphoid tissues, while circumventing the pitfalls associated with in vitro labeling. DC and lymphocytes have similar blood to afferent lymph migratory capabilities. This method has additional applications in tracking other rare cell populations in both normal and pathological states.
Preview · Article · Mar 2003 · International Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA vaccination, delivered through various routes, has been used extensively in laboratory animals. Few studies have focused on veterinary species and while results obtained in laboratory animals can often be extrapolated to veterinary species this is not always the case. In this study we have compared the effect of the route of immunisation with DNA on the induction of immune responses and protection of sheep to challenge with live Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. Intramuscular injection of plasmid DNA encoding an inactivated form of the phospholipase D (PLD) antigen linked to CTLA4-Ig resulted in the induction of a strong memory response and sterile immunity following challenge in 45% of the animals. In contrast, gene gun delivery or subcutaneous (SC) injection of the DNA vaccine induced comparatively poor responses and insignificant levels of protection. Thus, DNA vaccine efficacy in sheep is strongly influenced by the route of vaccination. Amongst intramuscular vaccinates, protected sheep had significantly elevated IgG2 responses compared to unprotected animals, while both subgroups had equivalent IgG1 levels. This suggests that the presence of IgG2 antibodies and hence a Th1-like response, induced by the DNA vaccine gave rise to protective immunity against C. pseudotuberculosis.
No preview · Article · Dec 2002 · Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
[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.
No preview · Article · Aug 2002 · Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study the role of the thymus in the development of sessile T cell populations resident in spleen and lymph nodes (LN) was contrasted with the development of recirculating T cell populations trafficking between blood and lymph. Extensive analysis of the composition and the rate of growth of the secondary lymphoid tissues and recirculating lymphocyte pool coupled with neonatal thymectomy revealed that the sessile and recirculating T cell populations showed different degrees of thymic dependency and increased in size at different rates, suggesting these two populations might be under separate homeostatic control. Neonatal thymectomy also resulted in a much greater depletion of CD8+ and gammadelta TCR+ T cell subsets compared with CD4+ T cells in the sessile and recirculating T cell pools, and greatly reduced the number of T cells homing to peripheral lymph nodes compared with those homing to the gut.
Preview · Article · Dec 2001 · International Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The peripheral (draining) lymph node, as the primary site of immune induction, determines the course of systemic responses to an injected antigen. Lymphatic duct cannulation procedures in sheep were used to investigate local immunoreactivity to human influenza virus antigen (Flu ag) admixed with the adjuvant ISCOMATRIX (IMX). Compared to Flu ag or IMX alone, the co-administration of Flu ag and IMX (Flu ag+IMX) synergistically enhanced a number of immunological responses (lymphocyte and blast migration from the node, antigen-specific antibody levels and IL6 output in efferent lymph, and antigen-induced proliferation in cultured efferent lymph cells). Together, these results demonstrate that IMX is an immune modulator, and that lymphatic duct cannulation procedures may be used to evaluate antigen/adjuvant combinations for vaccine development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A diverse repertoire among peripheral T cells is established in early life by thymic export when the naive T cell pool is first formed. In contrast, during adult life the thymus has been thought to play only a minor role in T cell homeostasis. As individuals age there is an increasing proportion of peripheral T cells bearing a memory phenotype, as well as a corresponding decrease in the number of naive T cells. The change in the composition of the peripheral T cell pool with age is thought to occur as a result of reduced or completely curtailed thymic export following thymic involution at puberty together with the antigen-driven expansion of naive T cells in the periphery. We examined thymic export throughout life in fetal, neonatal and aged sheep. We found that the thymus in adult animals showed an efficiency of production and export on a per gram basis equivalent to that observed for much younger animals, and continued to export substantial numbers of T cells long after puberty. The data demonstrate that naive T cells constantly enter the peripheral T cell pool at the same rate throughout fetal, neonatal and adult life, and that one in every 50 T cells in the peripheral lymphoid tissues of aged sheep had emigrated from the thymus in the previous 24 h. The data suggest that restoration by the thymus of a normal peripheral T cell repertoire in chronic T cell-depleting conditions should be possible in adult patients, provided the thymus is not damaged by disease or therapy.
Preview · Article · Mar 2001 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphocyte recruitment from blood into the lymph node is thought to be initiated by the presence of antigen. In this study, we have used lymphatic cannulation in sheep to demonstrate that the adjuvant ISCOMATRIX can induce dramatic lymph node activation in the absence of antigen. Consistent patterns of node shutdown (decreased output) and cell recruitment (increased output) with minimal blast cell responses were observed indicating that an antigen-specific immune response is not required. Production of IL-6, IL-8 and IFN-gamma, and the transient presence of red blood cells and neutrophils in the efferent lymph were associated with changes in efferent lymph cell trafficking. These early events may facilitate the screening of low frequency antigen-specific cells for binding to antigen and the subsequent amplification of the immune response.