Alveolar macrophages were obtained from Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensis) and domestic sheep for the purpose of comparing pulmonary host defense mechanisms in the two species. Specific variables studied included (1) characterization of the cell types present in the lung, (2) alveolar macrophage phagocytic and bactericidal functions, (3) measurement of protein levels in lavage fluid, and (4) measurement of Cortisol levels in lavage fluid. While phagocytic cell populations were similar between bighorn and domestic sheep, a significantly higher percentage of lymphocytes were present in bighorns than domestics (20% in bighorn versus 6% in domestic sheep). Significant differences were not observed in the phagocytic or bactericidal tunctions of macrophages between the two species. Significant differences were not observed in either lavage fluid protein levels or in Cortisol levels.
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Vol. 25 • No. 4