The study was designed to determine diurnal and seasonal changes in basic physiologic responses of donkeys adapted to the tropical Savannah. The rectal temperature (RT), respiratory rate (RR) and heart rate (HR) of six male Nubian pack donkeys, and the dry-bulb temperature (DBT), relative humidity and heat index of the experimental site were concurrently recorded hourly, from 06:00 h to 18:00 h (GMT +1), for three days, spread 1 week apart, during the cold-dry (harmattan), hot-dry and humid (rainy) seasons, in an open grazing field. Values of the physiologic parameters recorded during the morning (06:00 h–11:00 h) were lower (P<0.001) than those obtained in the afternoon (12:00 h–15:00 h) and evening (16:00 h–18:00 h) hours in all seasons, but the robustness of the diurnal rhythm differed (P<0.05) between seasons. Many diurnal hourly DBT mean values recorded during the harmattan and hot-dry seasons fell outside the established thermoneutral zone for tropically-adapted donkeys, while those obtained during the rainy season were within the zone, indicating that the dry seasons were more thermally stressful to the donkeys than the humid season. Overall mean RT dropped (P<0.05) during the harmattan season. The RR rose, while HR dropped (P<0.001) during the hot-dry season. In conclusion, daytime and season had profound influence on RT, RR and HR of the donkeys, therefore, diurnal and seasonal variations should be taken into account during clinical evaluation before reaching conclusion on health status and fitness for work in donkeys.
Tenomodulin has been recognized as a biomarker for tendon differentiation, and its gene expression is regulated by several transcription factors including Scleraxis and Mohawk. In this study, we found a novel regulatory mechanism of tenomodulin expression. Equine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) in monolayer culture showed a low mRNA level of tenomodulin in comparison with the level in the tendon. When cultured in collagen gel containing a glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) inhibitor (BIO), expression of tenomodulin in BMSCs increased up to the level in the tendon. Participation of GSK-3 in its gene expression was further demonstrated by a gene silencing experiment with small interference RNA corresponding to GSK-3, suggesting that Wnt/β-catenin signaling mediated expression of tenomodulin. These results were confirmed by nuclear translocation of β-catenin in BIO-treated BMSCs cultured in collagen gel. Under this culture condition, expression of tenomodulin-related transcription factors including Scleraxis and Mohawk was not affected, suggesting that Wnt/β-catenin signaling was independent from these transcription factors. Additionally, BIO strongly enhanced expression of type XIV collagen in collagen-embedded BMSCs up to the level in the tendon, and other tendon-related extracellular matrix components such as decorin and fibromodulin were also upregulated. Taken together, these results indicated that activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling could induce differentiation of BMSCs into tenomodulin-expressing tendon cells in collagen gel.
The purpose of this study was to create a lower forelimb model of the Thoroughbred horse for measuring the force in the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons (SDFT and DDFT), and the suspensory ligament (SL) during a trot. The mass, centers of gravity, and inertial moments in the metacarpus, pastern, and hoof segments were measured in 4 Thoroughbred horses. The moment arms of the SDFT, DDFT, and SL in the metacarpophalangeal (fetlock) and distal interphalangeal (coffin) joints were measured in 7 Thoroughbred horses. The relationship between the fetlock joint angle and the force in the SL was assessed in 3 limbs of 2 Thoroughbred horses. The forces in the SDFT, DDFT, and SL during a trot were also measured in 7 Thoroughbred horses. The mass of the 3 segments, and the moment arms of the SDFT and DDFT in the fetlock joint of the Thoroughbred horses were smaller than those of the Warmblood horses, whereas the other values were almost the same in the 2 types. The calculated force in the SDFT with this Thoroughbred model reached a peak (4,615 N) at 39.3% of the stance phase, whereas that in the DDFT reached a peak (5,076 N) at 51.2% of the stance phase. The force in the SL reached a peak (11,957 N) at 49.4% of the stance phase. This lower forelimb model of the Thoroughbred can be applied to studying the effects of different shoe types and change of hoof angle for the flexor tendon and SL forces.
To clarify effect of postbreeding intramuscular administration of deslorelin on mares, plasma LH and progesterone concentrations and conception rate were evaluated. In Experiment 1, deslorelin, buserelin, or a placebo was administered on day 9 (day 0=day of last breeding or AI). Plasma samples were collected daily from days 6 to 15, and additional samples were taken after treatment. There was a significant increase in hormonal concentrations after deslorelin treatment. In Experiment 2, deslorelin or placebo was injected on day 9. There was no difference in conception rates at days 15 and 30 between the two groups. While a single postbreeding treatment of deslorelin increased peripheral LH and progesterone concentrations, it may not affect the conception rate in mares.