In regenerative medicine using transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the importance of regulating the quality of MSCs has been well recognized; however, there is little information concerning the relationship between the population doubling level (PDL) and the stemness of MSCs in equine medicine. In this study, we showed that the amount of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) secreted by bone marrow-derived MSCs (BMSCs) decreases with increase of PDL. Enzymatic digestion and two-dimensional electrophoresis revealed that a main component of GAG produced by BMSCs was hyaluronan with a small amount of chondroitin sulfate. Increase of PDL downregulated the expression of MSC CD markers, including CD44, CD73, CD90, CD105, and CD146, along with loss of differentiation capacity. Thus, the effect of hyaluronan supplement to the growth medium on both expression of CD markers and the tri-lineage potential of BMSCs was evaluated. Expression of CD73 and CD90 was preserved by continuous addition of hyaluronan to the growth medium, whereas mRNA levels corresponding to CD44, CD105 and CD146 were not preserved by supplementation of hyaluronan. BMSCs subcultured with hyaluronan-supplemented growth medium to PDL-12 showed osteogenic capacity, however adipogenic and chondrogenic activities at PDL-12 were not preserved by exogenous hyaluronan. These results suggest that downregulation of CD44, CD105 and CD146 might not affect the osteogenic capacity. Taken together, the results suggested that supplementation of hyaluronan to the growth medium might be effective at maintaining the osteogenic capacity of equine BMSCs.
Bone mineral density (BMD) is one of the indications of the strength and health. BMD measured by quantitative computed tomography (QCT) was compared with that measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and radiographic bone aluminum equivalence (RBAE). Limbs were removed from horses that had been euthanized for reasons not associated with this study. Sixteen limbs (left and right metacarpals and metatarsals) from 4 horses were used to compare BMD as measured by QCT with those measured by DXA and RBAE. There was a strong correlation between BMD values measured by QCT and those measured by DXA (R2=0.85); correlation was also observed between values obtained by QCT and those obtained by RBAE (R2=0.61). To investigate changes in BMD with age, 37 right metacarpal bones, including 7 from horses euthanized because of fracture were examined by QCT. The BMD value of samples from horses dramatically increased until 2 years of age and then plateaued, a pattern similar to the growth curve. The BMD values of bone samples from horses euthanized because of fracture were within the population range, and samples of morbid fracture were not included. The relationship between BMD and age provides a reference for further quantitative studies of bone development and remodeling. Quantitative measurement of BMD using QCT may have great potential for the evaluation of bone biology for breeding and rearing management.
An equine embryo produced by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was trans-cervically transferred to a recipient mare and pregnancy was confirmed via ultrasound examination on days 11, 12 and 15. On days 20 and 22, a single embryonic proper with a heartbeat was observed. On day 29, two embryos proper appeared during ultrasound examination, each possessing a heartbeat. Subsequent examinations on days 35 and 39 revealed continued viability and development of both embryos proper. On day 49, demise of both fetuses was present. Although no DNA analysis or post-partum examinations were performed, it is presumed that the fetuses were monozygotic twins based on membrane classification by ultrasound imaging as well as development occurring after the transfer of a single in vitro-produced embryo.
We report the first case of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) keratitis in a racehorse. A 5-year-old mare developed punctate keratitis after racing. The corneal ulcer continued to expand despite ophthalmic antimicrobial therapy. On day 6, a conjunctival graft surgery was performed. The mare was euthanized, following colitis and laminitis development on day 10. MRSA was isolated from the corneal swab taken at the time of euthanasia. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated gram-positive and anti-S. aureus monoclonal antibody-positive cocci infiltration of the corneal stroma; and a diagnosis of MRSA ulcerative keratitis was made. An ophthalmic antimicrobial against the isolated MRSA did not improve the ocular lesion. The MRSA strain was found to be staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type II, a strain frequently isolated from humans in Japan.