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Sex steroid levels increase during sexual maturation and cause alterations in many physiological and morphological traits. Some of these changes may be connected with age-dependent and intersexual differences in the immune system. This topic is still insufficiently understood, especially in avian species, partially due to methodological limitations. In this study we measured the gene expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-18) and chemokines [K60 (IL-8-like chicken chemokine — CXCLi1), CAF (IL-8-like chicken chemokine — CXCLi2), and K203] in mononuclear cells isolated from blood and spleen after in vitro stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Samples were collected from chickens at two ages (from pullets before sexual maturity and from sexually mature egglaying hens). After LPS stimulation, a substantial increase was recorded in the gene expression of IL-6 and K203. All other measured genes were expressed at low levels in mononuclear cells irrespective of cell sources. We found a trend toward intersexual differences in K203 expression, but the expression of other cytokines and chemokines did not differ between the two sexes. The effect of stimulation was more pronounced in monocytes than in spleen macrophages, mainly in IL-6, IL-1β and K203 gene expression. Our findings represent a basis for further studies on the effects exerted by sexual hormones on the immune phenotype of birds.

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Interventional Medicine and Applied Science
Gabriella Vácz
Attila Cselenyák
Zsuzsanna Cserép
Rita Benkő
Endre Kovács
Eszter Pankotai
Andrea Lindenmair
Susanne Wolbank
Charlotte M. Schwarz
Dénes B. Horváthy
Levente Kiss
István Hornyák
, and
Zsombor Lacza


Human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) are promising tools for endothelial repair in vascular regenerative medicine. We hypothesized that these epithelial cells are capable of repairing the damaged endothelial layer following balloon injury of the carotid artery in adult male rats.


Two days after injury, the transplanted hAECs were observed at the luminal side of the arterial wall. Then, 4 weeks after the injury, significant intimal thickening was observed in both untreated and cell implanted vessels. Constriction was decreased in both implanted and control animals. Immunohistochemical analysis showed a few surviving cells in the intact arterial wall, but no cells were observed at the site of injury. Interestingly, acetylcholine-induced dilation was preserved in the intact side and the sham-transplanted injured arteries, but it was a trend toward decreased vasodilation in the hAECs’ transplanted vessels.


We conclude that hAECs were able to incorporate into the arterial wall without immunosuppression, but failed to improve vascular function, highlighting that morphological implantation does not necessarily result in functional benefits and underscoring the need to understand other mechanisms of endothelial regeneration.

Open access