Immune function and serum vitamin D in shelter dogs: A case-control study

L N Allison, J A Jaffey, N Bradley-Siemens, Z Tao, M Thompson, R C Backus
Veterinary Journal 2020, 261: 105477
This study sought to establish a baseline understanding of immune function and its association with serum vitamin D in shelter dogs. Ten apparently healthy shelter dogs housed in the Arizona Humane Society for ≥7 days and 10 apparently healthy, age, breed, and sex-matched control dogs were included. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D), the major circulating vitamin D metabolite, was measured using high performance liquid chromatography. Whole blood samples were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lipoteichoic acid, or phosphate buffer solution, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-ɑ, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-10 were measured using a canine-specific multiplex bead-based assay. Phagocytosis of opsonized-Escherichia coli and E. coli-induced oxidative burst were evaluated with flow cytometry. Shelter dogs had decreased percentages of granulocytes and monocytes (GM) that had phagocytized opsonized-E coli (P = 0.019) and performed E. coli-induced oxidative burst (P = 0.011). There were no significant differences in TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10, or 25(OH)D concentrations between shelter and control dogs. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations had a weak positive association with the intensity of GM E. coli-induced oxidative burst (r2 = 0.23, P = 0.03). There was a moderate inverse association between serum 25(OH)D concentration and LPS-stimulated TNF-ɑ production in shelter dogs (r2 = 0.40, P = 0.04). These results demonstrate immune dysregulation in vitro in shelter dogs housed for ≥7 days when compared to age, breed, and sex-matched control dogs. While serum 25(OH)D concentrations did not differ between shelter and control dogs, significant associations between 25(OH)D concentration and immune function parameters in vitro were identified.

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