Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from the whole blood of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus; n = 3) and stimulated with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) to induce the production of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 for establishment of cross-reactivity between these cheetah cytokines and feline-specific cytokine antibodies provided in commercially available Feline DuoSet® ELISA kits (R&D Systems, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413, USA). This study found that feline-specific cytokine antibodies bind specifically to cheetah proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 from cell culture supernatants. The assays also revealed that cheetah PBMCs produce a measurable, cell concentration-dependent increase in proinflammatory cytokine production after LPS stimulation. To enable the use of these kits, which are designed for cell culture supernatants for analyzing cytokine concentrations in cheetah serum, percent recovery and parallelism of feline cytokine standards in cheetah serum were also evaluated. Cytokine concentrations in cheetah serum were approximated based on the use of domestic cat standards in the absence of cheetah standard material. In all cases (for cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6), percent recovery increased as the serum sample dilution increased, though percent recovery varied between cytokines at a given dilution factor. A 1 : 2 dilution of serum resulted in approximately 45, 82, and 7% recovery of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 standards, respectively. Adequate parallelism was observed across a large range of cytokine concentrations for TNF-α and IL-1β; however, a significant departure from parallelism was observed between the IL-6 standard and the serum samples (P = 0.004). Therefore, based on our results, the Feline DuoSet ELISA (R&D Systems, Inc.) kits are valid assays for the measurement of TNF-α and IL-1β in cheetah serum but should not be used for accurate measurement of IL-6.
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