Endothelin-1 Concentrations in Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid of Cats with Experimentally Induced Asthma

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Abstract

Background:

There is a need for biomarkers for diagnosis, therapeutic monitoring, and prognosis for asthma in cats. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory airway diseases in other species but not the cat.

Objective:

To conduct a prospective experimental study to show that experimentally asthmatic cats, but not control cats without airway inflammation, would have increased concentrations of ET in BALF.

Animals:

Eleven healthy, adult research cats.

Methods:

Prospective experimental study. Six healthy cats without airway inflammation were used as controls. Asthma was induced using Bermuda grass allergen (BGA) in 5 cats. Collection of BALF for total nucleated cell and differential counts was performed. The concentration of ET-1 in cell-free BALF samples was determined. Data were analyzed using a Mann–Whitney U-test with P < .05 considered significant.

Results:

The median [range] BALF total cell numbers, eosinophil numbers, and eosinophil percentages were significantly higher in the cats following experimental induction of asthma (1,870 cells/μL [1,450–3,440], 711 cells/μL [356–1,686] and 38% [20–49]) compared to baseline control parameters (462 cells/μL [239–780], 18 cells/μL [18–62] and 3.5% [0–8]) (P < .01). The median [range] BALF ET concentration was also significantly higher after induction of asthma (1.393 fmol/mL[0.977–2.247]) compared to healthy control cats (0.83250 fmol/mL [0.625–1.038]) (P = .012).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance:

This study suggests that BAL ET-1 concentration can be used to differentiate normal cats from those with experimentally induced asthma. If the same holds true for cats with naturally developing asthma, BAL ET-1 may prove a useful diagnostic biomarker for asthma.

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