Intestinal cytokine mRNA expression in canine inflammatory bowel disease: A meta-analysis with critical appraisal

Albert E. Jergens, Ioana M. Sonea, Annette M. O'Connor, Linda K. Kauffman, Sinisa D. Grozdanic, Mark R. Ackermann, Richard B. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Data implicating mucosal cytokines in the pathogenesis of canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are limited. The aims of the present study were to report new findings of intestinal cytokine expression in dogs with IBD and to compare these data with previous studies through meta-analysis. Cytokine mRNA abundance in intestinal biopsies collected prospectively was evaluated by using a semiquantitative RT-PCR technique. For meta-analysis, an electronic database search revealed 3 clinical trials, all of which were nonrandomized (type III) case series. Prospective analysis showed that the intestines of healthy dogs and those with IBD express numerous cytokines and that a proinflammatory expression profile is not a feature of small or large-intestinal IBD. The meta-analysis data included 158 dogs characterized as healthy (n = 45), diarrheic nonIBD dogs (n = 6), nonresponders (n = 2), small-intestinal IBD (n = 41), colonic IBD (n = 25), and chronic enteropathy (n = 39). German shepherd dogs were overrepresented in 3 of the 4 studies. Healthy dogs showed mRNA expression for most cytokines including IL2, IL4, IL5, IL10, IL12, IFNγ, TNFα, and TGFβ. Only IL12 mRNA expression was increased consistently in small-intestinal IBD, whereas IBD colitis lacked consistent patterns of expression. In summary, dogs with IBD fail to express a predominant Th1- or Th2 cytokine bias in inflamed mucosa. Heterogeneity of results among these studies might be explained by numerous factors including the method of mRNA quantification, stage of disease, and demographic differences in study populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalComparative medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


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