Oertzenweg 19 b
+49 30 838 62299
Recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) in horses has become a common problem in stabled horses in industrialized countries and deserves new therapeutic strategies. CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODNs) were developed as effective immunostimulating agents to induce a Th2/Th1 shift. These agents showed a beneficial therapeutic effect in allergic diseases with predominant Th2 immunoresponse. CpG-ODN delivery by gelatin nanoparticles (GNPs) resulted in enhanced cellular uptake in murine and human in vitro studies and was a starting point for the present trial. The aim of this study was to identify an optimal stimulating CpG motif in horses with regard to species specificity on equine bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells, in terms of a possible specific immunomodulation effect (Th2/Th1 shift) by used CpG-ODN. Accordingly, GNPs were evaluated as a delivery system to improve CpG-ODN immunostimulation in equine BAL cells. BAL fluid (BALF) was obtained from seven horses with moderate RAO and from four healthy horses and was subsequently incubated with five different CpG-ODN sequences (from A-, B- and C-class) and one ODN without any CpG motif. Release of three key cytokines (IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-γ) was quantified by ELISA to detect an allergy mediated Th2 immunoresponse (IL-4) as well as a proinflammatory Th1 response (IFN-γ). Due to its specific anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects, IL-10 was considered as a beneficial agent in pathophysiology of RAO. Results showed a significant upregulation of IL-10 and IFN-γ on the one hand and a downregulation of IL-4 on the other hand in RAO affected horses. Cell cultures from healthy horses had a significantly stronger response in cytokine release to all the applied stimuli in contrast to RAO derived cells. Comparing all five CpG sequences, A-class 2216 significantly showed the highest immunomodulatory effects on equine BALF cells and, hence, was chosen for follow-up preliminary clinical studies.