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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2001 Sep 28;82(1-2):73-85.

Cytokine gene expression in ileal tissues of cattle infected with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis.

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Periparturient Diseases of Cattle Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA-ARS, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Cytokine gene expression in ileal tissues of cattle infected with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis was evaluated. The effects of infection with M. paratuberculosis on cytokine production may influence immune regulation at the site of colonization, resulting in the chronic inflammatory state associated with the latter stages of this disease. Ileal samples were obtained at necropsy from noninfected control cows (n=8) and clinically infected cows (n=7) and processed for immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Cows infected with M. paratuberculosis were in the latter stages of disease with clinical signs such as weight loss, watery diarrhea, and inappetence. Among cytokines we studied, interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha), IL-1beta, IL-6, and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) were expressed significantly more in infected animals than in noninfected control animals. The expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), however, was not different between the two groups of cattle. In addition, immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that the number of resident macrophages in the ileum of infected animals was three times greater than that of noninfected cows. In contrast to this, ileal tissues from noninfected control animals contained 1.5 times more neutrophils than the ileal tissues from cows infected with M. paratuberculosis. These data demonstrate that localized ileal cytokine production is different between cows chronically infected with M. paratuberculosis and noninfected control cows.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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