Annexins A1 and A2 are proteins known to function in the stress response, dampening inflammatory responses and mediating fibrinolysis. We found, in healthy cattle recently arrived to a feedlot, that lower levels of these proteins correlated with later development of pneumonia. Here we determine the localization of annexin A1 and A2 proteins in the respiratory tract and in leukocytes, in healthy calves and those with Mannheimia haemolytica pneumonia. In healthy calves, immunohistochemistry revealed cytoplasmic expression of annexin A1 in the surface epithelium of large airways, tracheobronchial glands and goblet cells, to a lesser degree in small airways, but not in alveolar epithelium. Immunocytochemistry labeled annexin A1 in the cytoplasm of neutrophils from blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, while minimal surface expression was detected by flow cytometry in monocytes, macrophages and lymphocytes. Annexin A2 expression was detected in surface epithelium of small airways, some mucosal lymphocytes, and endothelium, with weak expression in large airways, tracheobronchial glands and alveolar septa. For both proteins, the level of expression was similar in tissues collected five days after intrabronchial challenge with M. haemolytica compared to that from sham-inoculated calves. Annexins A1 and A2 were both detected in leukocytes around foci of coagulative necrosis, and in necrotic cells in the center of these foci, as well as in areas outlined above. Thus, annexins A1 and A2 are proteins produced by airway epithelial cells that may prevent inflammation in the healthy lung and be relevant to development of pneumonia in stressed cattle.
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