Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Single-cell transcriptomics delineates the immune cell landscape in equine lower airways and reveals upregulation of FKBP5 in horses with asthma

Riihimaki, Miia; Fegraeus, Kim; Nordlund, Jessica; Waern, Ida; Wernersson, Sara; Akula, Srinivas; Hellman, Lars; Raine, Amanda


Equine asthma (EA) is a heterogenous, complex disease, with a significant negative impact on horse welfare and performance. EA and human asthma share fundamental similarities, making EA a useful model for studying the disease. One relevant sample type for investigating chronic lung inflammation is bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), which provides a snapshot of the immune cells present in the alveolar space. To investigate the immune cell landscape of the respiratory tract in horses with mild-to-moderate equine asthma (mEA) and healthy controls, single-cell RNA sequencing was conducted on equine BALF cells. We characterized the major immune cell populations present in equine BALF, as well as subtypes thereof. Interestingly, the most significantly upregulated gene discovered in cases of mEA was FKBP5, a chaperone protein involved in regulating the activity of the glucocorticoid receptor.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2023, Volume: 13, number: 1, article number: 16261