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  • Author or Editor: Tanja Švara x
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Authors: Diana Žele, Mitja Gombač, Tanja Švara and Gorazd Vengušt

A carcinoid tumour in the liver of a red deer hind (Cervus elaphus) is described. Macroscopically, the liver was considerably enlarged with multifocal, firm, yellow and red nodular neoplastic masses, which were histopathologically diagnosed as hepatic carcinoids. The diagnosis was confirmed by modified Grimelius staining, which demonstrated numerous small argyrophilic granules in the cytoplasm of neoplastic cells, and by immunohistochemistry. The neoplastic cells gave a strong positive reaction for neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and synaptophysin and a weak positive reaction for chromogranin A. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a hepatic carcinoid in red deer.

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In this study, feed naturally containing Fusarium mycotoxins was fed to gilts during the perinatal period, and the effects on the thymus were investigated in one-week-old piglets. Twenty gilts were divided into equal control (0.26 mg deoxynivalenol, DON) and experimental (5.08 mg DON, 0.09 mg zearalenone and 21.61 mg fusaric acid per kg of feed) groups. One suckling piglet from each litter (n = 20) was sacrificed at one week of age to obtain thymus samples for further analysis. The cortex to medulla ratio of the thymus was morphometrically analysed using NIS Elements BR (Nikon) software. Paraffin-embedded thymus sections were stained to quantify apoptosis (with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling – TUNEL method), cellular proliferation (Ki-67) and macrophages (MAC 387). The results showed that the thymus cortex (P = 0.023) to medulla (P = 0.023) ratio was significantly lower in the experimental group. The number of apoptotic cells (cortex, P = 0.010, medulla, P = 0.001) and the number of proliferating cells in the thymus cortex (P = 0.001) and medulla (P < 0.001) were significantly higher in the experimental group. Our results indicate that feeding Fusarium mycotoxins to a parent animal during the perinatal period induces significant alterations in the thymus of one-week-old piglets, which indicates an immunosuppressive effect in piglets.

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