Stephanie Bond, Renaud Léguillette

A CONSORT‐guided, randomized controlled clinical trial of nebulized administration of dexamethasone and saline on lower airway cytokine mRNA expression in horses with moderate asthma

  • General Veterinary

AbstractBackgroundNebulized administration of dexamethasone on cytokine regulation in horses with moderate asthma has not been investigated.ObjectiveTo investigate the changes in expression of inflammatory cytokine mRNA after nebulized administration of dexamethasone treatment of horses with moderate asthma.AnimalsHorses with naturally occurring moderate asthma (n = 16) and healthy control horses (n = 4). All horses were kept in a dusty environment during the study.MethodsProspective, parallel, randomized, controlled, blinded clinical trial. Blood endogenous cortisol, tracheal mucus, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) were sampled before and after 13 days treatment with either nebulized administration of dexamethasone (15 mg once daily) or 0.9% saline (3 mL). Treatment groups were randomly allocated via randomization function (Microsoft Excel). Amplification of target mRNA in BAL fluid (IL‐1β, IL‐4, IL‐5, IL‐6, IL‐8, IL‐10, IL‐12, IL‐17, IL‐23, IFN‐γ, Eotaxin‐2, and TNF‐α) was achieved by qPCR, and the relative expression software tool was used to analyze BAL inflammatory cytokine mRNA.ResultsHorses treated with nebulized administration of dexamethasone had increased relative expression of IL‐5 (1.70‐fold), IL‐6 (1.71‐fold), IL‐17 (3.25‐fold), IL‐12 (1.66‐fold), and TNF‐α (1.94‐fold), and decreased relative expression of IL‐23 (1.76‐fold; P = .04) in samples collected on Day 14, in comparison to samples collected on Day 0 (all P < .05). Horses treated with nebulized administration of saline had no significant difference in the relative expression of any gene (all P > .05).Conclusions and Clinical ImportanceNebulized administration of dexamethasone was associated with increased expression of inflammatory cytokine mRNA. There was no improvement in inflammatory airway cytology associated with either dexamethasone or saline treatment.

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