Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) is a common lower urinary tract disorder of domestic cats that resembles interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) in humans. Diagnosis of FIC is based on clinical signs and exclusion of other disorders because of a lack of specific pathologic findings or other objective biomarkers. Cytokines are potential noninvasive biomarkers to define the presence, severity, and progression of disease, and response to treatment.
The objective of this pilot study was to determine concentrations of selected cytokines in serum from healthy cats and cats with acute FIC.
Serum samples from 13 healthy cats and from 12 cats with nonobstructive acute FIC were utilized.
Multiplex analysis of 19 cytokines (CCL2, CCL5, CXCL1, CXCL12, CXCL8, Flt3L, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IL-12 (p40), IL-13, IL-18, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, PDGF-BB, SCF, sFas, and TNF-α) was performed with a commercially available feline-specific multiplex bead-based assay.
Mean serum concentrations of IL-12 (p40; P < 0.0001), CXCL12 (P = 0.002), IL-18 (P = 0.032), and Flt3L (P = 0.0024) were significantly increased in FIC cats compared to healthy cats. GM-CSF, IL-1b, IL-2, and PDGF-BB were undetectable or detected in an insufficient number of cats to allow meaningful comparisons.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance
We have identified increased serum concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines CXCL12, IL-12, IL-18, and Flt3L in FIC-affected cats. These findings suggest potential candidates for noninvasive biomarkers for diagnosis, staging, and therapeutic outcome monitoring of affected cats and provide additional insight into the etiopathogenesis of FIC.
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