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Review
, 257, 213-47

Cellular Basis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Horses

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Review

Cellular Basis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Horses

Darko Marinkovic et al. Int Rev Cytol.

Abstract

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory obstructive disease of the airways characterized with hypersensitivity of the airway tissues to various allergens, most commonly the fungi contained in the poor-quality hay and straw bedding-Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Thermoactinomyces vulgaris. It is manifested clinically in middle-aged horses with recurrent episodes of dyspnea, chronic cough, and their reduced athletic and working capacity. Pulmonary emphysema and lack of pulmonary collapse are the most common gross lesion. Pathohistological findings in horses with COPD are chronic bronchitis/bronchiolitis, with characteristic changes in lumen, mucosa, submucosa, and smooth muscle layer and alveolar emphysema, both distensive and destructive form. Increased immunoreactivity in lungs and tracheobronchial lymph nodes is also noted. Most common lesions seen on cytology imprint smears from tracheal bifurcation is thick, viscous, PAS-positive mucus that forms Curschmann's spirals. Dominant cell population consists of desquamated airway epithelial cells, as well as eosinophils, neutrophils, mast cells, erythrocytes, and alveolar macrophages. Primary pulmonary pathogens as well as potential contaminants and secondary infection agents were isolated bacteriologically from lung samples. All of the aforementioned findings correlate pointing to the fact that chronic bronchitis/bronchiolitis represents a basic substrate of COPD, which have combined inflammatory and immunological etiology, and emphysema is secondary to airway obstruction.

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