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Title: Intramuscular administration of a synthetic CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide modulates functional responses of neutrophils of neonatal foals

item COHEN, NOAH - Texas A&M University
item BOURQUIN, JR - Texas A&M University
item BORDIN, AI - Texas A&M University
item KUSKIE, KR - Texas A&M University
item BRAKE, CN - Texas A&M University
item WEAVER, KB - Texas A&M University
item LIU, M - Texas A&M University
item FELIPPE, MJ - Texas A&M University
item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2014
Publication Date: 10/15/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Cohen, N., Bourquin, J., Bordin, A., Kuskie, K., Brake, C., Weaver, K., Liu, M., Felippe, M., Kogut, M.H. 2014. Intramuscular administration of a synthetic CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide modulates functional responses of neutrophils of neonatal foals. PLoS One. 9:1-10. doi: 10.137/journal.pone.0109865.

Interpretive Summary: Baby horses are susceptible to infections with a horse germ called Rodococcus equi. The purpose of this experiment was to treat baby horses with a new compound that would stimulate the horses’ immune system. We found that the new compound did increase the baby horses’ immune system so that the baby’s immunity looked similar to the adult immune system. These results are important to the horse industry because this new treatment could protect the baby horses against Rhodococcus equi, but also other germs as well.

Technical Abstract: Neutrophils play an important role in protecting against infection. Foals have age-dependent deficiencies in neutrophil function that may contribute to their predisposition to infection. Thus, we investigated the ability of a CpG-ODN formulated with Emulsigen® to modulate functional responses of neutrophils in neonatal foals. Eighteen foals were randomly assigned to receive either a CpG-ODN with Emulsigen (N=9) or saline intramuscularly at ages 1 and 7 days. At 26 ages 1, 3, 9, 14, and 28, blood was collected and neutrophils were isolated from each foal. Neutrophils were assessed for basal and Rhodococcus equi-stimulated mRNA expression of the cytokines interferon-' (IFN-'), interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, and IL-8 using real-time PCR, degranulation by quantifying the amount of ß-D glucuronidase activity, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation using flow cytometry. In vivo administration of the CpG-ODN formulation on days 1 and 7 resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) increased IFN-' mRNA expression by foal neutrophils on days 3, 9, and 14. Degranulation was significantly (P < 0.05) lower for foals in the CpG-ODN-treated group than the control group at days 3 and 14, but not at other days. No effect of treatment on ROS generation was detected. These results indicate that CpG-ODN administration to foals might improve innate and adaptive immune responses that could protect foals against infectious diseases and possibly improve responses to vaccination.