We propose an approach of estimating individual growth curves based on the birthday information of Japanese Thoroughbred horses, with considerations of the seasonal compensatory growth that is a typical characteristic of seasonal breeding animals. The compensatory growth patterns appear during only the winter and spring seasons in the life of growing horses, and the meeting point between winter and spring depends on the birthday of each horse. We previously developed new growth curve equations for Japanese Thoroughbreds adjusting for compensatory growth. Based on the equations, a parameter denoting the birthday information was added for the modeling of the individual growth curves for each horse by shifting the meeting points in the compensatory growth periods. A total of 5,594 and 5,680 body weight and age measurements of Thoroughbred colts and fillies, respectively, and 3,770 withers height and age measurements of both sexes were used in the analyses. The results of predicted error difference and Akaike Information Criterion showed that the individual growth curves using birthday information better fit to the body weight and withers height data than not using them. The individual growth curve for each horse would be a useful tool for the feeding managements of young Japanese Thoroughbreds in compensatory growth periods.
We previously isolated the commensal bacteria lactobacilli and bifidobacteria from the Thoroughbred intestine and prepared the horse probiotics LacFiTM, consisting of Lactobacillus ruminis KK14, L. equi KK 15, L. reuteri KK18, L. johnsonii KK21, and Bifidobacterium boum HU. Here, we found that the five LacFiTM constituent strains remarkably suppressed pro-inflammatory interleukin-17 production in mouse splenocytes stimulated with interleukin-6 and transforming growth factor-β. The protective effects of the probiotic on impaired intestinal barrier function were evaluated in Caco-2 cells treated with tumor necrosis factor-α. Evaluation of transepithelial resistance showed that all the strains exhibited intestinal barrier protective activity, with significant suppression of barrier impairment by L. reuteri KK18. The LacFiTM constituent strains were detected in neonatal LacFiTM-administered Thoroughbred feces using polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and culture methods. These five strains were found to be the predominant lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the intestinal microbiota of LacFiTM-administered Thoroughbreds. Administration of LacFiTM to neonatal Thoroughbreds decreased diarrhea incidence from 75.9% in the control group (n=29 neonatal Thoroughbreds) to 30.7% in the LacFiTM-administered group (n=101 neonatal Thoroughbreds) immediately after birth to 20 weeks after birth. LacFiTM treatment also prevented diarrhea especially at and around 4 weeks and from 10 to 16 weeks. The duration of diarrhea was also shorter in the probiotics-administered group (7.4 ± 0.8 days) than in the control group (14.0 ± 3.2 days). These results indicate that the LacFiTM probiotics regulates intestinal function and contributes to diarrhea prevention.
Uteri from 50 necropsied nonpregnant Japanese Thoroughbred brood mares (1–30 years of age) were investigated to clarify the histopathological characteristics of endometrosis in Japanese Thoroughbred mares and the distribution pattern of endometrosis lesions in the uterus as a whole. Endometrosis was observed in all animals over 6 years of age and in all of the 21 mares aged over 12 years of age. The affected mares showed elastofibrosis of arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels in the uterine wall, atrophy of the uterine smooth muscle layers and hyperplasia of collagen fibers among the smooth muscle fascicles of the myometrium, in addition to pathomorphologic features of endometrosis such as stromal endometrial fibrosis accompanied by endometrial atrophy, periglandular fibrosis and reduction of uterine glands. The severity of the histopathological changes increased with advancing age. Lymphatic vessels with elastofibrosis showed marked lymph congestion, leading to lymphatic edema. With increasing age, the extent of the distribution of these lesions tended to expand from focal to diffuse involvement of the entire uterus. Based on these findings, we speculate that aging plays a role in the pathogenesis of endometrosis; circulatory disturbances due to intrauterine angiosis or angiopathy, particularly reduction of the arterial blood supply and disturbance of venous drainage, resulting in a reduction of lymphatic drainage (lymphatic edema), are closely related to the onset and progression of endometrial fibrosis and myometrial atrophy with fibroplasia may result in myometrial hypofunction during the peri-implantation or puerperal period.
Resistance to phagocytosis is a crucial virulence property of Streptococcus equi (Streptococcus equi subsp. equi; Se), the cause of equine strangles. The contribution and interdependence of capsule and SeM to killing in equine blood and neutrophils were investigated in naturally occurring strains of Se. Strains CF32, SF463 were capsule and SeM positive, strains Lex90, Lex93 were capsule negative and SeM positive and strains Se19, Se1-8 were capsule positive and SeM deficient. Phagocytosis and killing of Se19, Se1-8, Lex90 and Lex93 in equine blood and by neutrophils suspended in serum were significantly (P ≤ 0.02) greater compared to CF32 and SF463. The results indicate capsule and SeM are both required for resistance to phagocytosis and killing and that the anti-phagocytic property of SeM is greatly reduced in the absence of capsule.