Abstract: An eight-year-old, neutered, female, long-haired cat was presented with a three-week history of progressive lethargy, unlocalized pain in the cervical and lumbar spine, and unwillingness to move. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain revealed poorly circumscribed regions of non-contrast-enhancing heterogeneous T2 hyperintensity within the ventral forebrain and midbrain. A mass effect and evidence of increased intracranial pressure, including transtentorial herniation of the midbrain and herniation of the cerebellar vermis through the foramen magnum, were also observed. Due to progressive clinical decline and MRI results, the cat was humanely euthanized. Gross examination of the brain confirmed caudal transtentorial and foramen magnum herniation. The ventral aspect of the forebrain, midbrain, and brainstem were soft and had loss of detail, but lacked a grossly discernible mass. Histopathological examination found a poorly delineated neoplastic mass composed of hyperchromatic cells with indistinct cytoplasm, ovoid to elongate or curved nuclei, and indistinct nucleoli. The cells lacked immunoreactivity for Olig2, GFAP, Iba1, CD3, and Pax5. Based on the cellular morphology, immunolabeling characteristics, and anatomical location, a diagnosis of gliomatosis cerebri was made. Although uncommon, gliomatosis cerebri should be considered as a differential diagnosis in cats with central nervous system disease.
Abstract: Evading innate immunity is a prerequisite for pathogenic microorganisms in order to survive in their respective hosts. Concerning Lyme disease spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato group, a broad range of diverse vertebrates serve as reservoir or even as incidental hosts, including humans. The capability to infect multiple hosts implies that spirochetes have developed sophisticated means to counter the destructive effects of complement of humans and various animals. While the means by which spirochetes overcome the hosts immune defense are far from being completely understood, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that binding of the key regulator of the alternative pathway, Factor H, plays a pivotal role for immune evasion and that Factor H is an important determinant of host specificity. This review covers (i) the contribution of complement in host-specificity and transmissibility of Lyme disease spirochetes; (ii) the involvement of borrelial-derived determinants to host specificity; (iii) the interplay of human and animal Factor H with complement-acquiring surface proteins of diverse borrelial species; and (iv) the potential role of additional animal complement proteins in the immune evasion of spirochetes.
Abstract: The non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) are a heterogeneous family of lymphoid malignancies that are among the most common neoplasms of both dogs and humans. Owing to shared molecular, signaling, incidence, and pathologic features, there is a strong framework supporting the utilization of canine lymphoma as a comparative, large animal model of human NHL. In alignment with the biologic similarities, the current approach towards the diagnosis and classification of canine lymphoma is based upon the human World Health Organization guidelines. While this approach has contributed to an increasing appreciation of the potential biological scope of canine lymphoma, it has also become apparent that the most appropriate diagnostic philosophy must be multimodal, namely by requiring knowledge of microscopic, immunophenotypic, and clinical features before establishing a final disease diagnosis. This review seeks to illustrate the comparative similarities and differences in the diagnosis of canine lymphoma through the presentation of the microscopic and immunophenotypic features of its most common forms.
Abstract: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection results in viral persistence, a prolonged asymptomatic phase, and progressive immunopathology. During the asymptomatic phase, a cohort of experimentally FIV-infected cats exhibits features of viral latency in blood suggestive of inactive viral replication. We sought to investigate viral replication activity and genomic stability of the FIV proviral long terminal repeat (LTR) and the 5′ aspect of gag over time. FIV-infected cats during the asymptomatic phase demonstrated undetectable plasma FIV gag RNA transcripts and intermittent to undetectable blood-derived cell-associated FIV gag RNA. The LTR sequence demonstrated instability in blood-derived cells over time, in spite of low to undetectable viral replication. Sequence variation in the LTR was identified in CD4+ and CD21+ leukocytes from blood and surgically removed lymph nodes. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the LTR were commonly identified. Promoter functionality of a common LTR SNP and rare U3 mutation were examined by reporter gene assays and demonstrated either no change or increased basal FIV promoter function, respectively. In conclusion, this cohort of asymptomatic FIV-infected cats demonstrated instability of the LTR and 5’ gag sequences during the study period, in spite of undetectable plasma and rare to undetectable viral gag RNA, which suggests that blood may not accurately represent viral activity in asymptomatic FIV-infected cats.
Abstract: Osteosarcomas are the most abundant form of bone malignancies in multiple species. Canine osteosarcomas are considered a valuable model for human osteosarcomas because of their similar features. Feline osteosarcomas, on the other hand, are rarely studied but have interesting characteristics, such as a better survival prognosis than dogs or humans, and less likelihood of metastasis. To enable experimental approaches to study these differences we have established five new canine osteosarcoma cell lines out of three tumors, COS_1186h, COS_1186w, COS_1189, and COS_1220, one osteosarcoma-derived lung metastasis, COS_1033, and two new feline osteosarcoma cell lines, FOS_1077 and FOS_1140. Their osteogenic and neoplastic origin, as well as their potential to produce calcified structures, was determined by the markers osteocalcin, osteonectin, tissue unspecific alkaline phosphatase, p53, cytokeratin, vimentin, and alizarin red. The newly developed cell lines retained most of their markers in vitro but only spontaneously formed spheroids produced by COS_1189 showed calcification in vitro.
Abstract: People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all exposed to numerous environmental threats, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). However, because animals exhibit wide variations in diet, land use and biology, they are often more frequently or heavily exposed to HAB toxins than are people occupying the same habitat, making them sentinels for human exposures. Historically, we have taken advantage of unique physiological characteristics of animals, such as the sensitivity of canaries to carbon monoxide, to more quickly recognize threats and help protect human health. As HAB events become more severe and widespread worldwide, exposure and health outcome data for animals can be extremely helpful to predict, prevent, and evaluate human exposures and health outcomes. Applying a One Health approach to investigation of HABs means that lessons learned from animal sentinels can be applied to protect people, animals and our shared environment.