Analysis of Cytokine Gene Expression using a Novel Chromogenic In-situ Hybridization Method in Pulmonary Granulomas of Cattle Infected Experimentally by Aerosolized Mycobacterium bovis

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Abstract

Mycobacterium bovis is the cause of tuberculosis in most animal species including cattle and is a serious zoonotic pathogen. In man, M. bovis infection can result in disease clinically indistinguishable from that caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of most human tuberculosis. Regardless of host, the typical lesion induced by M. bovis or M. tuberculosis is the tuberculoid granuloma. Tuberculoid granulomas are dynamic structures reflecting the interface between host and pathogen and, therefore, pass through various morphological stages (I to IV). Using a novel in-situ hybridization assay, transcription of various cytokine and chemokine genes was examined qualitatively and quantitatively using image analysis. In experimentally infected cattle, pulmonary granulomas of all stages were examined 150 days after aerosol exposure to M. bovis. Expression of mRNA encoding tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, transforming growth factor-β, interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-17A, IL-16, IL-10, CXCL9 and CXCL10 did not differ significantly between granulomas of different stages. However, relative expression of the various cytokines was characteristic of a Th1 response, with high TNF-α and IFN-γ expression and low IL-10 expression. Expression of IL-16 and the chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10 was high, suggestive of granulomas actively involved in T-cell chemotaxis.

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Palmer, M. V., Thacker, T. C., & Waters, W. R. (2015). Analysis of Cytokine Gene Expression using a Novel Chromogenic In-situ Hybridization Method in Pulmonary Granulomas of Cattle Infected Experimentally by Aerosolized Mycobacterium bovis. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 153(2–3), 150–159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpa.2015.06.004

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