The nematode Spirocerca lupi (S. lupi) induces sarcoma in the dog oesophagus in about 25% of cases. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in the cytokine milieu between dogs with neoplastic (n = 29) and non-neoplastic disease (n = 49) and age- and gender-matched healthy controls (n = 25). We measured IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-18, GM-CSF and MCP-1 in a specific canine multiplex immunoassay kit. Cytokine concentrations were compared between the different groups using the Kruskal-Wallis test followed by Dunn's test.
Only IL-8 and IL-18 showed significant differences in their plasma concentration among the three groups. Kruskal-Wallis test revealed a significant (p = 0.001) difference in IL-8 concentration between the neoplastic group (634 pg/ml), the non-neoplastic (429 pg/ml) and the control groups (150 pg/ml). Post-test analysis revealed a significance difference between the two S. lupi groups and the control group (p < 0.01). The highest IL-18 concentration was found in the non-neoplastic group (53 pg/ml), followed by the control group (46 pg/ml) and finally the neoplastic group (33 pg/ml). IL-18 concentrations were significantly higher in the non-neoplastic group than in the neoplastic group (p = 0.05).
The increased IL-8 in the spirocercosis groups is consistent with the neutrophilic infiltrate in spirocercosis lesions and in those of other inflammatory-induced neoplasias such as Barret's oesophagus and Helicobacter gastritis. IL-18 showed negative regulatory effect in several worm infections and it is possible that it plays the same role in spirocercosis, allowing the worm to evade the host response and to induce neoplastic transformation. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.