Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Investigation of a TH17 cell-mediated immune response in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy

Th17 cells and their proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-17 (IL-17) seem to be associated with the development of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. We investigated whether a Th17-cell mediated influence can be identified in some dogs with idiopathic epilepsy (IE).

Th17 cells were identified and quantified by flow cytometry in blood of dogs with IE (n = 57) and IL-17 was measured in CSF (n = 35) and serum samples (n = 33) using an ELISA. Ten healthy beagles formed the control group. Results were correlated with clinical parameters e.g. seizure frequency, seizure severity or response to treatment. Th17 cells were also randomly controlled in dogs with IE in a follow up study. The study was conducted in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (experiment number 33.8-42 502-05-18A290).

Elevated levels of stimulated Th17 cells/μl were observed in ten dogs with IE (17.54%). There was a positive correlation between stimulated Th17 cells of dogs with IE and seizure severity (P = 0.0460). IL-17 levels in CSF and serum samples of dogs with IE were significantly increased compared to the control group. However only one correlation with clinical data or sampling time points could be observed: a negative correlation between IL-17 values in CSF samples and the amount of AEDs given to treat dogs with IE.

In conclusion, in single dogs with IE and severe seizures increased Th17 cell numbers were detected in blood. In these individual cases an autoimmune reaction against brain structures could be a potential cause for seizures and anti-inflammatory treatment could be indicated.

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