Transcription of Interleukin 31 and its receptor by leukocytes after Culicoides sp. stimulation is dose-dependent, but is not exaggerated in allergic horses or correlated with pruritus

Nicky Craig, Nathalie S. Munguia , Andrew D. Trujillo, Rachel Wilkes, Mackenzie Dorr, Rosanna Marsella*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVE: Preliminary evidence supports a role for IL-31 in equine insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) and pruritus. Our studies investigated IL-31 and IL-31 receptor-α (IL-31RA) transcription in leukocytes from normal and IBH horses in response to Culicoides nubeculosus. ANIMALS: 19 normal and 15 IBH horses were recruited in the summer of 2019 (low-dose study) and 8 normal and 10 IBH horses in the winter of 2022 to 2023 (high-dose study). Normal horses had no history or signs of allergic skin disease, while IBH horses had a history and clinical signs compatible with IBH. Pruritus was scored using a visual analog score or a 1 to 6 grading system. PROCEDURES: Whole blood leukocytes were incubated with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution or C nubeculosus (0.26 µg/mL [low dose]; 5 μg/mL [high dose]). Transcription of IL-31 and IL-31RA was measured by quantitative RT-PCR. RESULTS: Transcription of IL-31 and IL-31RA significantly increased in leukocytes from normal and IBH horses following high-dose C nubeculosus, and no differences were found between populations. Following low-dose C nubeculosus IL-31RA, transcription was increased in both normal and IBH horses, but IL-31 transcription was reduced in normal horses. No positive correlation was found between pruritus scores and IL-31 transcription after low- or high-dose C nubeculosus stimulation. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Exaggerated IL-31 transcription was not identified in IBH horses, suggesting that dysregulation in IL-31 signaling occurs downstream or in localized tissues or involves regulation by yet unidentified receptor splice variants or IL-31-induced increased sensitivity to other pruritogens. Further studies to understand IL-31 signaling in equine allergic skin disease are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S75-S85
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume261
Issue numberS1
Early online date2 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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