02470-A: Proteomic Evaluation of Greyhound Meningoencephalitis: A Model for Neuroinflammation in Other Breeds

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $10,757
Robert E. Shiel, PhD; University College Dublin
January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2018


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Neurology
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Meningoencephalitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the brain and adjacent meninges. Such neuroinflammatory disorders are common in small animal practice, and can lead to temporary or permanent disability, or death if uncontrolled and progressive. Some neuroinflammatory disorders have a clear bacterial or viral cause. In other cases, infectious agents cannot be identified. Such cases may be true autoimmune diseases, or alternatively, a prior infection may have triggered inappropriate immune system activation with subsequent neuroinflammation long after clearance of the infectious agent. Genetic factors also play a role, as evidenced by the development of specific neuroinflammatory diseases in individual breeds. Although the clinical and pathological features of many canine neuroinflammatory diseases are well-described, there is very limited information available on the underlying causes and pathophysiological processes involved. Greyhound meningoencephalitis is a progressive and invariably fatal neuroinflammatory disorder often affecting multiple littermates. Extensive testing has failed to identify a definitive infectious or genetic cause. The investigators will characterize protein responses within the brain and surrounding fluid in conjunction with previously obtained genetic and transcriptomic data. This approach may allow determination of the underlying cause, and will provide information on the pathways involved to aid understanding of the disease process and identify potential markers of disease and therapeutic targets. Evaluation of a very defined disease in a single breed increases the likelihood of identifying specific protein patterns. Once identified, similar patterns can be investigated in other breeds and species.


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