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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2012 Feb 15;145(3-4):604-10. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2012.01.005. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

Microsphere immunoassay for the detection of cytokines in domestic cat (Felis catus) plasma: elevated IL-12/23 in acute feline immunodeficiency virus infections.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, United States.


We recently described the development and validation of a highly sensitive and specific microsphere immunoassay capable of simultaneously quantifying three domestic cat cytokines in tissue culture supernatant. Here we describe the modification of this assay to measure interferon gamma (IFNγ), interleukin (IL)-10 and IL-12/IL-23 p40 (IL-12/23) in domestic cat plasma, report values obtained from plasma collected after feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) exposure, and compare plasma concentrations to blood cell mRNA expression. The validated quantitation limits of this assay are 31-1000 pg/ml for IFNγ, 63-2000 pg/ml for IL-10, and 20-625 pg/ml for IL-12/23. Plasma cytokine levels from domestic cats infected with pathogenic and/or apathogenic FIV were determined at 3-4 and 7-8 weeks post-infection. IL-12/23 was elevated (p<0.05) during acute infection with both FIV strains in two similar studies, conducted five years apart in different feline cohorts (n=44 total animals). IL-12/23 concentrations ranged from 377 to 1904 pg/ml in naïve cats and 552 to 3460 pg/ml in infected cats. In contrast, the majority of plasma samples had IFNγ and IL-10 concentrations below the lowest standard tested. The inability to consistently detect levels of IFNγ and IL-10 in plasma, despite the fact that mRNA changes were detected, suggests that these cytokines may be secreted and/or cleared in a more highly regulated manner than IL-12/23, or perhaps exert local effects under tighter peripheral constraints and/or at a lower effective concentration.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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