The accumulation of excess body fat is a growing problem in dogs as well as people. Contrary to prior understanding of adipose tissue, fat is now considered to be an active endocrine organ that promotes a chronic low-grade inflammatory state often characterized by an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. These have been implicated in several obesity-related disorders such as insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and neoplasia. The purpose of this study was to characterize fasting plasma cytokine concentrations in ninety-two healthy client-owned Labrador retriever dogs of various ages and body condition scores. The dogs were grouped according to body condition score (BCS) into three categories, lean, overweight and obese. The following cytokines and chemokines were evaluated; tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-2, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (TNF-α, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1). Our results indicated that fasting plasma IL-6 and MCP-1 concentrations are associated with increasing BCS. This data suggest that certain markers of inflammation increase with increasing body condition score, and that dogs, similar to humans, may be fostering a chronic inflammatory state due to obesity.
Keywords: Interleukin-6; Labrador retriever dogs; Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1; Tumor necrosis factor alpha.
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