Reasons for performing study: There is increasing evidence of involvement of inflammatory cells in acute laminitis.
Objective: To immunolocalise monocytes/macrophages and B and T lymphocytes in the laminar tissue of normal horses and those with black walnut extract (BWE)-induced laminitis.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry was used in archived laminar tissue samples from 20 horses divided equally into 4 groups: control animals (CON), and those administered BWE at 1.5 h (1.5H DTP group), at the onset of leucopenia (3H DTP group) and at the onset of lameness (LAM group). Antibodies against CD3, CD20 and CD163 were used to recognise lymphocytes (T and B) and monocytes/macrophages, respectively.
Results: Mononuclear cells were present in laminar tissue of normal horses. The majority of CD3- and CD20-positive lymphocytes were localised around the deep dermal vessels but were also evident around vessels of the primary dermal laminae. CD163-positive macrophages were primarily perivascular in deep dermis or in dermal laminae. No changes in the number of laminar B or T lymphocytes occurred at any time point post BWE administration. However, increases (P = 0.0016) in laminar CD163-positive cells occurred in the secondary dermal laminae (SDL) in the 1.5H DTP and 3H DTP groups, returning to basal values in LAM group.
Conclusions: Lymphocyte and macrophage populations are present in the laminar tissue of clinically normal horses and BWE administration induces an increase in CD163-positive macrophages in SDL.
Potential relevance: Both the host tissue population of mononuclear cells and the influx of monocytes may play an important role in the pathophysiological changes leading to laminar injury.