Veterinary Pathology

  • Francisella Tularensis Clades B.FTN002-00 and B.13 Are Associated With Distinct Pathology in the European Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) 12 ottobre 2016
    Origgi, F. C., Pilo, P.
    Tularemia is a severe disease caused by Francisella tularensis. This bacterium has a major pathogenic potential in countless animal species as well as in humans. Despite the relatively significant body of literature available on this microorganism, many questions are still open concerning its biological cycle in the environment, the pathology and pathogenesis of the disease, the possible routes of infection in animals, and the pathologic and ecological relevance of the distinct phylogenetic clusters of F. tularensis. In order to address these questions, we have thoroughly characterized the pathology and microbiology of terminally ill European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) infected with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica, collected in Switzerland from 2012 to 2014. F. tularensis isolates were typed by defining their phylogenetic clusters. We showed that the pathology associated with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica belonging to the clade B.FTNF002-00 is different from that previously reported to be associated with the clade B.13. In particular, strains of the clade B.FTNF002-00 were almost invariably associated with splenitis and hepatitis and not with the polyserositis affecting pleura, pericardium, and kidney reported in the literature for infections caused by the clade B.13. We describe findings suggesting that the ports of entry for the bacteria might be the respiratory and digestive routes.
  • High Numbers of Stromal Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Are Associated With a Shorter Survival Time in Cats With Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 12 ottobre 2016
    Klobukowska, H. J., Munday, J. S.
    Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are fibroblastic cells that express α–smooth muscle actin and have been identified in the stroma of numerous epithelial tumors. The presence of CAFs within the tumor stroma has been associated with a poorer prognosis in some human cancers, including oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). Cats frequently develop oral SCCs, and although these are generally highly aggressive neoplasms, there is currently a lack of prognostic markers for these tumors. The authors investigated the prognostic value of the presence of CAFs within the stroma of oral SCC biopsy specimens from 47 cats. In addition, several epidemiologic, clinical, and histologic variables were also assessed for prognostic significance. A CAF-positive stroma was identified in 35 of 47 SCCs (74.5%), and the median survival time (ST) of cats with CAF-positive SCCs (35 days) was significantly shorter than that of cats with CAF-negative SCCs (48.5 days) (P = .031). ST was also associated with the location of the primary tumor (P = .0018): the median ST for oropharyngeal SCCs (179 days) was significantly longer than for maxillary (43.5 days; P = .047), mandibular (42 days; P = .022), and sublingual SCCs (22.5 days; P = .0005). The median ST of sublingual SCCs was also shorter compared with maxillary SCCs (P = .0017). Furthermore, a significant association was identified between site and the presence of stromal CAFs (P = .025). On the basis of this retrospective study, evaluating the tumor stroma for CAFs in feline oral SCC biopsy specimens may be of potential prognostic value.
  • In Memoriam: John M. King (1927-2016) 12 ottobre 2016
    Williams, B.
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Ki-67 Expression in Canine Gliomas 12 ottobre 2016
    Fraser, A. R., Bacci, B., le Chevoir, M. A., Long, S. N.
    Novel therapies, including molecular targeted therapies, are being developed for the treatment of human gliomas. To use such therapies for canine gliomas, more complete characterization of molecular targets is required. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is one such therapeutic target used in human glioma trials, and the Ki-67 labeling index (LI) is a marker of proliferation and a prognostic indicator. The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to evaluate the expression of EGFR and Ki-67 in canine gliomas and to determine if immunopositivity is associated with tumor type and histologic grade. Thirty-one formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded canine gliomas were evaluated for EGFR and Ki-67 expression by immunohistochemistry. EGFR immunopositivity was evaluated using a semi-quantitative score and the Ki-67 LI calculated based on the percentage of positive cells. EGFR and Ki-67 expression were identified in 16 of 31 (52%) and 28 of 31 (90%) tumors, respectively. EGFR expression was significantly greater in high-grade tumors compared with low-grade tumors (P = .04) and was significantly greater in gliomatosis cerebri compared with oligodendroglioma (P = .002), astrocytoma (P = .01), and oligoastrocytoma (P = .04). The Ki-67 LI was significantly greater in high-grade tumors compared with low grade tumors (P = .02); the median Ki-67 LI was 2.3% (range, 0%–17.6%) for low-grade tumors and 9.3% (range, 1.7%–41.0%) for high-grade tumors. A significant moderate correlation was identified between EGFR immunopositivity and Ki-67 LI (r = 0.47, P = .007). Overall, EGFR may be a suitable therapeutic target for some canine gliomas, particularly gliomatosis cerebri.
  • Decidualization of Endometriosis in Macaques 12 ottobre 2016
    Atkins, H. M., Lombardini, E. D., Caudell, D. L., Appt, S. E., Dubois, A., Cline, J. M.
    The decidua is the superficial portion of endometrium that transforms, or decidualizes, under the influence of progesterone to nourish the early embryo during pregnancy. Deciduae outside the uterus are found in nearly 100% of human pregnancies. This condition, known as deciduosis, may mimic malignancy, resulting in additional diagnostic procedures that place the mother, baby, or both at risk. Deciduosis has been described in both Old World and New World nonhuman primates in conjunction with pregnancy and after treatment with exogenous progestins. Here the authors present 6 cases of deciduosis associated with endometriotic lesions in female rhesus and cynomolgus macaques (Macaca mulatta and Macaca fascicularis). Full diagnostic necropsies with histologic analyses were performed on all animals. Deciduae were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and by immunohistochemistry for vimentin, CD10, progesterone receptor, estrogen receptor, desmin, cytokeratin, kermix P8, chorionic gonadotropin, human placental lactogen, and calretinin. The most common clinical signs were abdominal pain (4 of 6) and anorexia (2 of 6). At necropsy, macaque uteri were often enlarged or disfigured (4 of 6) with abundant fibrous adhesions (5 of 6). Affected tissue consisted of epithelial-lined cysts and decidualized stroma with scattered gamma/delta T cells. Decidualized stromal cells were large and polyhedral with abundant cytoplasm and round vesicular nuclei. They stained positive for vimentin, CD10, progesterone, and estrogen. In summary, these cases illustrate deciduosis in 6 nonhuman primates with endometriosis. Understanding decidualization in nonhuman primates will aid in elucidating the pathophysiology of deciduosis during pregnancy or endometriosis and potentially lead to new interventions.
  • Ki-67 and PCNA Expression in Canine Mammary Tumors and Adjacent Nonneoplastic Mammary Glands: Prognostic Impact by a Multivariate Survival Analysis 12 ottobre 2016
    Carvalho, M. I., Pires, I., Prada, J., Lobo, L., Queiroga, F. L.
    The assessment of tumor proliferation has been considered a determining prognostic factor in canine mammary tumors (CMTs). However, no studies have assessed the prognostic importance of proliferation in adjacent nonneoplastic mammary glands. We included 64 CMTs (21 benign and 43 malignant) and studied the proliferation index (PI) of Ki-67 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) together with several clinicopathological characteristics. A positive and statistically significant correlation between the PI of Ki-67 and PCNA in tumors and adjacent nonneoplastic mammary glands was observed in benign and malignant tumors. Tumor size, skin ulceration, histological type, mitotic index, nuclear grade, differentiation grade, histological grade of malignancy, lymph node metastasis, Ki-67, and PCNA expression in tumors and adjacent nonneoplastic mammary glands were statistically associated with overall survival by univariate analysis in malignant cases (n = 43). Histological grade of malignancy and high intratumoral PCNA retained their significance by multivariate analysis arising as independent predictors of overall survival. Interestingly, the PI of Ki-67 and PCNA of adjacent nontumoral mammary glands were associated with clinicopathological features of tumor aggressiveness and shorter overall survival, demonstrating the need to better explore this adjacent non-neoplastic tissue.
  • No Evidence of Herpesvirus Infection in West Highland White Terriers With Canine Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 12 ottobre 2016
    Roels, E., Dourcy, M., Holopainen, S., Rajamäki, M. M., Gillet, L., Ehlers, B., Clercx, C.
    In humans, horses, and rodents, an association between pulmonary fibrotic disorders and gammaherpesvirus infection has been suggested. In dogs, canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (CIPF), a progressive fibrotic lung disease of unknown origin and poorly understood pathophysiology, has been reported to occur in West Highland white terriers (WHWTs). The present study investigated the potential association between CIPF and herpesvirus infection. A PCR assay, using a mixture of degenerate and deoxyinosine-substituted primers targeting highly conserved regions of the DNA polymerase gene (DPOL) of herpesviruses, was applied on both lung and blood samples from WHWTs affected with CIPF and controls. Herpesvirus DPOL sequence could not be amplified from any of 46 lung samples (28 affected WHWTs and 18 control dogs of various breeds) and 38 blood samples (19 CIPF WHWTs and 19 control age-matched WHWTs) included. An association between CIPF and herpesvirus infection is therefore unlikely. Investigation of other causes of the disease is warranted.
  • Immunosuppression in Dogs During Mammary Cancer Development 12 ottobre 2016
    Mucha, J., Rybicka, A., Dolka, I., Szymanska, J., Manuali, E., Parzeniecka-Jaworska, M., Klucinski, W., Krol, M.
    Cancer immunosuppression that facilitates tumor progression and metastasis evolves by development of an immunosuppressive network. The aim of this study was to assess this network in dogs with benign or malignant tumors with or without confirmed metastasis. The authors showed that the number of various T cell subpopulations was constant during tumor development; however the number of regulatory T cells (Tregs) was significantly higher in tumor-bearing dogs than in healthy individuals. The number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and their p-STAT3 expression (which is a negative regulator of hematopoiesis and regulates VEGF expression) were higher in cancer patients than in control dogs, however their number increased significantly in late-stage cancer patients. Canine mammary carcinomas with confirmed metastases to either lymph nodes or internal organs had greater MDSCs and Treg infiltration than benign mammary tumors or malignant mammary tumors for which metastases had not been detected. Similarly, expression of p-STAT3 and VEGF-C was the highest in tumors with confirmed metastases. This research shows changes occurring in the blood (n = 30 patients) and tumor tissue of patients (n = 100) during canine mammary tumor development. The findings should be considered preliminary because of the small number of samples. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that a high level of Tregs and MDSCs as well as high expression of p-STAT3 and VEGF-C may significantly contribute to mammary tumor progression and metastasis in dogs.
  • Pathology and Epidemiology of Stillbirth in New Zealand Sea Lions (Phocarctos hookeri) From Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, 1998-2012 12 ottobre 2016
    Michael, S. A., Chilvers, B. L., Hunter, S. A., Duignan, P., Roe, W.
    Stillbirth is a small and often cryptic fraction of neonatal mortality in mammals including pinnipeds. As part of an investigation into the poor reproductive success of the endangered New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri), archived tissues from 37 stillborn pups born on Enderby Island between 1998 and 2012 were examined using histopathological techniques. Apart from bronchopneumonia with neutrophilic infiltration in 4 cases, few inflammatory conditions were identified in stillborn pups. However, 27/32 (84%) stillborn pups had aspirated squames present in the respiratory tract, without meconium. It is unclear if this finding represents fetal distress during parturition or whether it is a normal finding for this species. Three pups lacked histological evidence of hepatic glycogen storage, which may indicate placental defects or maternal undernutrition. No evidence of infectious disease was found on histopathological analysis, consistent with the low seroprevalence in New Zealand of infections known to cause reproductive failure in other pinniped species. This study forms an important baseline for further examination of stillborn New Zealand sea lion pups, as pup mortality is investigated as a contributor to the species’ decline.
  • Downregulation of ATM Gene and Protein Expression in Canine Mammary Tumors 12 ottobre 2016
    Raposo-Ferreira, T. M. M., Bueno, R. C., Terra, E. M., Avante, M. L., Tinucci-Costa, M., Carvalho, M., Cassali, G. D., Linde, S. D., Rogatto, S. R., Laufer-Amorim, R.
    The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene encodes a protein associated with DNA damage repair and maintenance of genomic integrity. In women, ATM transcript and protein downregulation have been reported in sporadic breast carcinomas, and the absence of ATM protein expression has been associated with poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate ATM gene and protein expression in canine mammary tumors and their association with clinical outcome. ATM gene and protein expression was evaluated by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, respectively, in normal mammary gland samples (n = 10), benign mammary tumors (n = 11), nonmetastatic mammary carcinomas (n = 19), and metastatic mammary carcinomas (n = 11). Lower ATM transcript levels were detected in benign mammary tumors and carcinomas compared with normal mammary glands (P = .011). Similarly, lower ATM protein expression was observed in benign tumors (P = .0003), nonmetastatic mammary carcinomas (P < .0001), and the primary sites of metastatic carcinomas (P < .0001) compared with normal mammary glands. No significant differences in ATM gene or protein levels were detected among benign tumors and nonmetastatic and metastatic mammary carcinomas (P > .05). The levels of ATM gene or protein expression were not significantly associated with clinical and pathological features or with survival. Similar to human breast cancer, the data in this study suggest that ATM gene and protein downregulation is involved in canine mammary gland tumorigenesis.