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MT10-004: Investigation of the role of bacterial cell wall components, cytokine signaling, and myofibroblastic fibrosis in feline nonsuppurative cholangitis-cholangiohepatitis syndrome (CCHS) as an aid to improving diagnostic categorization and treatment modalities

Nonsuppurative CCHS, the most common inflammatory liver disease affecting cats, is considered an immune-mediated disorder but may be initiated or perpetuated by bacterial components. While diagnosis requires liver biopsy for histopathology, definitive diagnosis can be difficult due to histologic similarities between nonsuppurative CCHS and hepatic lymphoma (LSA). This study aims to determine: 1) whether bacterial components are involved with chronic CCHS, and 2) to further develop staining procedures that can assist with differentiation of nonsuppurative CCHS and hepatic LSA. A pilot study suggests through staining for Gram positive bacterial components (LTA), such components may initiate and/or perpetuate chronic CCHS in some cats. Cats with LTA staining may benefit from chronic antimicrobial therapy rather than immunosuppression currently considered standard therapy. In addition, pilot study findings suggest alpha smooth muscle actin (AMSA) helps differentiate CCHS from LSA. Anticipated findings from this study will help: 1) identify cats that may derive benefit from chronic antimicrobial therapy, and 2) recommend additional stains that may be routinely used to assist in differentiation of nonsuppurative CCHS from hepatic LSA.

Grant ID: MT10-004

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2010

Amount awarded: $24,140

Investigator: Dr. Sharon A. Center, DVM, DACVIM; Dr. Sean McDonough DVM, DACVP PhD; Dr. Michelle Lepherd, BVSc, MACVSc, PhD, Cornell University