BACKGROUND: Cytosine-phosphate-guanosine oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG-ODN) has been used successfully to induce immune responses against viral and intracellular organisms in mammals. The main objective of this study was to test the effect of CpG-ODN on antigen presenting cells of young foals.
METHODS: Peripheral blood monocytes of foals (n = 7) were isolated in the first day of life and monthly thereafter up to 3 months of life. Adult horse (n = 7) monocytes were isolated and tested once for comparison. Isolated monocytes were stimulated with IL-4 and GM-CSF (to obtain dendritic cells, DC) or not stimulated (to obtain macrophages). Macrophages and DCs were stimulated for 14-16 hours with either CpG-ODN, LPS or not stimulated. The stimulated and non-stimulated cells were tested for cell surface markers (CD86 and MHC class II) using flow cytometry, mRNA expression of cytokines (IL-12, IFNalpha, IL-10) and TLR-9 using real time quantitative RT-PCR, and for the activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB p65 using a chemiluminescence assay.
RESULTS: The median fluorescence of the MHC class II molecule in non-stimulated foal macrophages and DCs at birth were 12.5 times and 11.2 times inferior, respectively, than adult horse cells (p = 0.009). That difference subsided at 3 months of life (p = 0.3). The expression of the CD86 co-stimulatory molecule was comparable in adult horse and foal macrophages and DCs, independent of treatment. CpG-ODN stimulation induced IL-12p40 (53 times) and IFNalpha (23 times) mRNA expression in CpG-ODN-treated adult horse DCs (p = 0.078), but not macrophages, in comparison to non-stimulated cells. In contrast, foal APCs did not respond to CpG-ODN stimulation with increased cytokine mRNA expression up to 3 months of age. TLR-9 mRNA expression and NF-kB activation (NF-kB p65) in foal DCs and macrophages were comparable (p > 0.05) to adult horse cells.
CONCLUSION: CpG-ODN treatment did not induce specific maturation and cytokine expression in foal macrophages and DCs. Nevertheless, adult horse DCs, but not macrophages, increased their expression of IL-12 and IFNalpha cytokines upon CpG-ODN stimulation. Importantly, foals presented an age-dependent limitation in the expression of MHC class II in macrophages and DCs, independent of treatment.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Flaminio, M. Julia B.F.; Borges, Alexandre S.; Nydam, Daryl V.; Horohov, David W.; Hecker, Rolf; and Matychak, Mary Beth, "The effect of CpG-ODN on antigen presenting cells of the foal" (2007). Veterinary Science Faculty Publications. 20.