Cytokine Profiles of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells From Dogs Experimentally Sensitized to Japanese Cedar Pollen

Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2003 May 30;93(1-2):9-20. doi: 10.1016/s0165-2427(03)00049-7.


Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica, CJ) pollinosis is mediated by type-I hypersensitivity and induces seasonal rhinitis and conjunctivitis in humans. Previous studies showed that dogs could be experimentally sensitized with CJ pollen. In this study, we carried out quantitative analysis of mRNA levels of various cytokines in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 12 dogs experimentally sensitized to Japanese cedar pollen. Experimental sensitization was carried out by injection of crude CJ pollen extract with aluminium hydroxide gel. The expression levels of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-18, interferon (IFN)-gamma, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta(1), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha mRNAs in the PBMC were quantified using a real-time sequence detection system. In the PBMC tested without culture, the expression levels of IL-8 and TNF-alpha mRNAs in experimentally sensitized dogs were significantly higher than those in control dogs. The expression level of IFN-gamma mRNA in the sensitized group was significantly lower than that in the control group. When the PBMCs were cultured in the presence of CJ pollen extract, the level of IL-4 mRNA expression was markedly increased in the PBMC from the experimentally sensitized dogs. In the PBMC stimulated with the CJ pollen extract, the expression level of IL-2 mRNA in the sensitized group was also significantly higher than that in the control group. Our data indicated that a Th2 response and proliferation of PBMC occur in response to the sensitizing antigen in dogs experimentally sensitized with CJ pollen, and revealed the presence of antigen-specific Th2 cells in this canine model. In addition, the expression levels of the mRNAs encoding proinflammatory cytokines were shown to be elevated after CJ pollen sensitization, indicating the activation of monocytes and macrophages.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / administration & dosage
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Cell Division
  • Cryptomeria / immunology*
  • Cytokines / analysis*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Dogs / immunology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / veterinary
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Pollen / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • Antigens
  • Cytokines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Immunoglobulin E