Using reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) and semi-quantitative PCR techniques, mRNA expression for canine interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-10 in freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was examined in dogs with or without atopic dermatitis (AD). The expression of IFN-γ mRNA in dogs with AD was lower than that in dogs without AD (healthy control). The expression of IL-5 mRNA was higher in dogs with AD than in control dogs, but there were no significant differences in IL-4 mRNA and IL-10 mRNA expression between the groups. The number of circulating eosinophils was higher in dogs with AD than in control dogs, although eosinophilia was found in only one dog with AD. These results suggest that there is a tendency for the PBMCs of atopic dogs to express a type 2 cytokine pattern that is similar to the pattern observed in human AD patients.
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