Immunohistochemical study of morphology and distribution of CD163+ve macrophages in the normal adult equine gastrointestinal tract

Zofia Lisowski, Kristin Sauter, Lindsey Waddell, David Hume, Scott Pirie, Neil Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Intestinal macrophages are the largest group of mononuclear phagocytes in the body and play a role in intestinal innate immunity, neuroimmune interactions and maintaining intestinal homeostasis. Conversely, they also are implicated in numerous pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, such as postoperative ileus and inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, macrophages could be potential therapeutic targets. To date, there are limited studies on the morphology and distribution of macrophages in the equine gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The aim of this study was to identify the location and abundance of resident macrophages in the equine GIT using CD163 as an immunohistochemical marker. Tissue samples were obtained post-mortem from 14 sites along the gastrointestinal tracts of 10 horses free from gastrointestinal disease; sample sites extended from the stomach to the small colon. CD163+ve cells were present in all regions of the equine GIT from stomach to small colon. CD163+ve cells were also identified in all tissue layers of the intestinal wall; namely, mucosa, submucosa, muscularis externa (ME), myenteric plexus and serosa. Consistent with a proposed function in regulation of intestinal motility, CD163+ve cells were regularly distributed within the ME, with accumulations closely associated with the myenteric plexus and effector cells such as neurons and the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC).
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Early online date27 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 May 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Horse
  • CD163
  • Macrophage
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Intestine
  • Inflammation


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