Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Evaluation of the involvement of Th17-cells in the pathogenesis of canine spinal cord injury

Intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH) is a frequently occurring neurological disease of dogs and the most common reason for spinal cord injury (SCI). Clinical signs are variable thus a reliable prognosis is crucial for further treatment decisions. Currently, the prognosis of IVDH primarily depends on presence or absence of deep pain perception. The purpose of this study was to investigate if Th17-cells could serve as a potential, prognostic biomarker for IVDH. We investigated a possible role of the adaptive immune system in the pathophysiology of IVDH in dogs. The investigation was performed by analyzing the influence of Th17-cells in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of sixty-two dogs suffering from IVDH. In addition, we examined if Th17-cells might influence the course of this disease. As controls, paired blood and CSF samples of ten healthy clinic-owned dogs were examined and the values were compared to those of the IVDH group. Isolated lymphocytes were analyzed after stimulation by using multicolour flow cytometry to measure the number of Th17-cells. IL-17 levels were measured in paired serum and CSF samples by Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA). Highly significant differences of stimulated Th17-cells in EDTA-blood samples could be determined between Th17-cell levels of dogs suffering from IVDH and the healthy control group and also between three sampling time points: preoperative, after clinical improvement and after six months. Preoperatively, Th17-cell levels were strongly decreased in contrast to the healthy controls. The decreased amount of Th17-cell levels recovered postoperatively so that Th17-cell levels of the last follow-up examinations were comparable to the control group after six months. At the same time IL-17 measured in serum preoperatively was significantly higher in dogs with IVDH than in healthy controls. However, there was no considerable difference of IL-17 measured in CSF between the groups. In conclusion, a high activity and consequent consumption of IL-17-producing Th17-cells is suspected in acute IVDH. These findings may indicate an involvement of Th17-cells in the pathogenesis of IVDH and emphasize that these cells might be involved in the interaction of pain, stress and immune reaction. However, based on the findings of this study the development of Th17-cells as a biomarker cannot be recommended, yet.

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