Lymphocyte Subsets in the Adrenal Glands of Dogs With Primary Hypoadrenocorticism

S. G. Friedenberg, D. L. Brown, K. M. Meurs, J. Mc Hugh Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Primary hypoadrenocorticism, or Addison’s disease, is an autoimmune condition common in certain dog breeds that leads to the destruction of the adrenal cortex and a clinical syndrome involving anorexia, gastrointestinal upset, and electrolyte imbalances. Previous studies have demonstrated that this destruction is strongly associated with lymphocytic-plasmacytic inflammation and that the lymphocytes are primarily T cells. In this study, we used both immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to characterize the T-cell subtypes involved. We collected postmortem specimens of 5 dogs with primary hypoadrenocorticism and 2 control dogs and, using the aforementioned techniques, showed that the lymphocytes are primarily CD4+ rather than CD8+. These findings have important implications for improving our understanding of the pathogenesis and in searching for the underlying causative genetic polymorphisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) received the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was funded in part by a National Institutes of Health T32 training award provided to SGF (5T32OD11130-07). Additional funding was provided by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation and the Poodle Club of America Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • Addison’s disease
  • adrenal gland
  • dogs
  • endocrine diseases
  • hypoadrenocorticism
  • immunophenotype
  • lymphocyte subsets


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