Black-footed cats: trying to tackle Amlyloidosis

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Thursday, 1st May 2008

Amyloidosis in Black-footed Cats (Felis nigripes)

Terio, K. A., O'Brien, T., Lamberski, ., Famula, T.R., Munson, L.

Veterinary Pathology, 45(3), 393–400 (2008).


A high prevalence of systemic amyloidosis was documented in the black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) based on a retrospective review of necropsy tissues (n = 38) submitted as part of ongoing disease surveillance. Some degree of amyloid deposition was present in 33 of 38 (87%) of the examined cats, and amyloidosis was the most common cause of death (26/38, 68%). Amyloid deposition was most severe in the renal medullary interstitium (30/33, 91%) and glomeruli (21/33, 63%). Other common sites included the splenic follicular germinal centers (26/31, 84%), gastric lamina propria (9/23, 39%), and intestinal lamina propria (3/23, 13%). Amyloid in all sites stained with Congo red, and in 13 of 15 (87%) cats, deposits had strong immunoreactivity for canine AA protein by immunohistochemistry. There was no association with concurrent chronic inflammatory conditions (P = .51), suggesting that amyloidosis was not secondary to inflammation. Adrenal cortical hyperplasia, a morphologic indicator of stress that can predispose to amyloid deposition, was similarly not associated (P = .09) with amyloidosis. However, adrenals were not available from the majority of cats without amyloidosis; therefore, further analysis of this risk factor is warranted. Heritability estimation suggested that amyloidosis might be familial in this species. Additionally, tissues from a single free-ranging black-footed cat had small amounts of amyloid deposition, suggesting that there could be a predilection for amyloidosis in this species. Research to identify the protein sequence of serum amyloid A (SAA) in the black-footed cat is needed to further investigate the possibility of an amyloidogenic SAA in this species.

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