Neutrophil extracellular traps in the pathogenesis of equine recurrent uveitis (ERU)
Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is considered one of the most important eye diseases in horses and typically appears with relapsing inflammatory episodes without systemic effects. Various disorders have been described as an initial trigger, including infections. Independent of the initiating cause, there are numerous indications that ERU is an immune-mediated disease. We investigated whether neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are part of the ERU pathogenesis. Therefore, vitreous body fluids (VBF), sera, and histological sections of the eye from ERU-diseased horses were analyzed for the presence of NET markers and compared with horses with healthy eyes. In addition, NET formation by blood derived neutrophils was investigated in the presence of VBF derived from horses with healthy eyes versus ERU-diseased horses using immunofluorescence microscopy. Interestingly, NET markers like free DNA, histone-complexes, and myeloperoxidase were detected in higher amounts in samples from ERU-diseased horses. Furthermore, in vitro NET formation was higher in neutrophils incubated with VBF from diseased horses compared with those animals with healthy eyes. Finally, we characterized the ability of equine cathelicidins to induce NETs, as potential NET inducing factors in ERU-diseased horses. In summary, our findings lead to the hypothesis that ERU-diseased horses develop more NETs and that these may contribute to the pathogenesis of ERU.
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