Detection of extracellular traps in canine steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis
Extracellular traps (ETs) are DNA networks formed by immune cells to fight infectious diseases by catching and attacking pathogenic microorganisms. Uncontrolled ET formation or impaired ET clearance can cause tissue and organ damage. Steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA) represents an immune-mediated, presumably non-infectious, purulent leptomeningitis and fibrinoid-necrotizing arteritis and periarteritis of young-adult dogs. Chronic and recurrent cases of SRMA are characterized by lymphohistiocytic inflammatory cell infiltration in the meninges and perivascular tissue. This study aimed to identify extracellular traps in dogs with SRMA, a model for immune-mediated diseases in the central nervous system (CNS). Hematoxylin and eosin-stained samples of two young dogs with chronic, recurrent SRMA were examined by light microscopy for characteristic lesions and consecutive slices of affected tissues were stained for detection of ETs by immunofluorescence microscopy using antibodies against DNA-histone-1 complexes, myeloperoxidase, and citrullinated histone H3. Histology revealed purulent and lymphohistiocytic leptomeningitis (n = 2/2) with meningeal periarteritis (n = 2/2) and periadrenal located lymphohistiocytic periarteritis (n = 1). Extracellular DNA networks and inflammatory cell infiltrates of macrophages, neutrophil granulocytes, and lymphocytes were detected in the subarachnoid space of the leptomeninx (n = 2/2) and perivascularly in meningeal (n = 2/2) as well as periadrenal vessels (n = 1/1). In summary, extracellular DNA fibers and attached ET markers are detectable in affected perivascular and meningeal tissues of dogs suffering from SRMA. The proof of principle could be confirmed that ETs are present in canine, inflammatory, and non-infectious CNS diseases and possibly play a role in the pathogenesis of SRMA.