We studied the response of biochemical markers of bone metabolism to exercise intensity in horses. Four horses were walked on a mechanical walker for one week (pre-exercise). Then they performed low-speed exercise on a high-speed treadmill in the first week and medium-speed exercise in the second week and high-speed exercise in the third week of training. We measured two indices of bone resorption, serum hydroxyproline concentration and the urinary deoxypyridinoline/creatinine ratio, and serum osteocalcin (OC) concentration as an index of bone formation. Both indices of bone resorption gradually decreased during the experiment. Serum OC concentration did not change in the first week but was significantly lower in the second and the third weeks compared to in the pre-exercise period and in the first week. These results suggest that the low-speed exercise decreased bone resorption but did not affect bone formation, which possibly results in increasing bone mineral content and strengthening of bones. The high-speed exercise decreased bone formation and bone resorption, i.e., bone turnover was suppressed. The low-speed exercise may be preferable for increasing bone mineral content.
To assess the effect of human interferon-alpha (IFNα) on shipping fever of Thoroughbred racehorses subjected to long-distance transportation, an IFNα preparation was orally administered to 48 horses three times (once daily, 3 successive days) before transportation (IFNα group). In the control group (25 horses), maltose was administered in the same way. These treatments induced no abnormal findings in Thoroughbred racehorses before transportation. Immediately after transportation, significant increases in rectal temperature were observed in both treatment groups, whereas the rectal temperature of the IFNα group tended to be lower than that of the control group. Although WBC, Fbg, and SAA immediately after transportation were significantly increased due to transportation in both groups, the extent of the increases in the IFNα group was significantly smaller than in the control group. Long-distance transportation had a relatively profound impact on Thoroughbred racehorses, which was mitigated by IFNα treatment.
Cytology of tracheal aspirates, tracheal endoscopic and blood tests were carried out to 86 Thoroughbred racehorses presenting coughs or poor performance which were suspected to have lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) to assess the conditions of the disorders. Racehorses were classified into coughing (66 horses) and non-coughing (20 horses) groups based on clinical symptoms. Nine Thoroughbred racehorses without respiratory abnormality were used as controls. Assessment of grades of airway mucus, cytology of tracheal aspirates and serum amyloid A (SAA), fibrinogen (Fbg) and pulmonary surfactant protein D (SP-D) measurements were performed. Relationships between age, gender and racing careers were also investigated to understand the characteristics of LRTD in racehorses. Mean age was significantly higher in non-coughing group compared to coughing group. Existence of racing career and number of starts were significantly greater in non-coughing group compared to coughing group. On the other hand, grades of airway mucus were significantly higher in coughing group compared to control group. Percentages of neutrophils in tracheal aspirates were significantly higher in coughing group compared to non-coughing and control groups. SAA, Fbg and SP-D were higher in coughing group compared to non-coughing and control groups indicating that condition of coughing group is in the acute phase. Positive rate of inflammatory airway disease was significantly higher in coughing and non-coughing groups compared to control group. It was concluded that carrying out comprehensive evaluation including investigation on SAA, Fbg and SP-D analysis with airway assessment to Thoroughbred racehorses which were suspected to have LRTD are useful procedure to understand the pathological condition which aid to initiate appropriate treatment, prognosis judgment or to advise trainers to consider altering training regimen.
To confirm ability forming the basement membrane of the regenerated laminar epidermis (rLE) in chronic laminitis, expression of type VII and type XVII collagen mRNAs in the rLE was studied applying sequences of two type of murine collagens. On northern blot analysis, complement DNA (cDNA) probes adjusted from the murine type VII and type XVII collagen could hybridize with the equine mRNAs, and each signal was detected as single-bands at approximately 9.5 kb and 5.6 kb, respectively. Contrasting with the expression level of equine glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenease mRNA, the band of type VII collagen mRNA in laminitis was stronger than normal, but the type XVII collagen mRNA in laminitis was less than normal. By in situ hybridization, positive signals in response to the murine type VII and type XVII collagen mRNA probes could be detected in the equine laminitic rLE region. From these results, it is concluded that the keratinocytes constructing the rLE in chronic stage of laminitis can express type VII and type XVII collagen mRNAs and these expression patterns were different from the normal.