Can levamisole upregulate the equine cell-mediated macrophage (M1) dendritic cell (DC1) T-helper 1 (CD4 Th1) T-cytotoxic (CD8) immune response in vitro?


Background: Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a common and devastating neurologic disease of horses in the United States. Because some EPM-affected horses have decreased immune responses, immunomodulators such as levamisole have been proposed as supplemental treatments. However, little is known about levamisole's effects or its mechanism of action in horses. Objective: Levamisole in combination with another mitogen will stimulate a macrophage 1 (M1), dendritic cell 1 (DC1), T-helper 1 (CD4 Th1), and T-cytotoxic (CD8) immune response in equine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in vitro as compared to mitogen alone. Animals: Ten neurologically normal adult horses serologically negative for Sarcocystis neurona. Methods: Prospective study. Optimal conditions for levamisole were determined based on cellular proliferation. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were then cultured using optimal conditions of mitogen and levamisole to identify the immune phenotype, based on subset-specific activation markers, intracellular cytokine production, and cytokine concentrations in cell supernatants. Subset-specific proliferation was determined using a vital stain. Results: Concanavalin A (conA) with levamisole, but not levamisole alone, resulted in a significant decrease (P <.05) in PBMC proliferation compared to conA alone. Levamisole alone did not elicit a specific immune phenotype different than that induced by conA. Conclusion and Clinical Importance: Levamisole co-cultured with conA significantly attenuated the PBMC proliferative response as compared with conA. If the mechanisms by which levamisole modulates the immune phenotype can be further defined, levamisole may have potential use in the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Veterinary Sciences, EPM, immunomodulators, immunology, SARCOCYSTIS-NEURONA, IMMUNOMODULATORY ACTION, HORSES, INFECTION, MICE, EPM, 0707 Veterinary Sciences