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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2004 Oct;101(3-4):133-41.

Comparison of TGF-beta 1 concentrations in bronchoalveolar fluid of horses affected with heaves and of normal controls.

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Departement de Sciences Cliniques, Faculte de Medecine Veterinaire, University de Montreal, St. Hyacinthe, Canada J2S 7C6.


Airway remodeling may play an important role in heaves pathophysiology. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta1) is a potent profibrotic cytokine, which might contribute to airway wall thickening and fibrosis of bronchiolar and alveolar submucosa. An ELISA designed for the measurement of human TGF-beta1 was used to measured total TGF-beta1 released in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of normal horses and of those affected with heaves in remission. The specificity of the assay for TGF-beta1 of the horse was confirmed using recombinant equine TGF-beta1. The influence of hay exposure on TGF-beta1 release in the airways was also examined by stabling horses in a dusty environment. TGF-beta1 was found in the BALF of all horses. However, no significant difference between basal concentration of TGF-beta1 in BALF of control horses versus that of horses affected with heaves was found. Furthermore, no differences were identified in these populations 1 and 9 days after allergen challenge. In conclusion, these data indicate that TGF-beta1 is released in BALF fluid of horses in biologically active concentrations. Other studies are necessary for a better definition of the role of this cytokine within the lung, as our study does not establish a causal relationship between TGF-beta1 and the pathophysiology of heaves in the horse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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