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Am J Vet Res. 2004 Dec;65(12):1724-9.

Expression of the cyclooxygenase isoforms in the prodromal stage of black walnut-induced laminitis in horses.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the levels of mRNA expression of cycooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 in the digital laminae of normal horses and horses in the developmental stages of laminitis experimentally induced by administration of black walnut extract (BWE).

SAMPLE POPULATION:

Samples of mRNA extracted from the digital laminae of 5 control horses and 5 horses at the onset of leukopenia after administration of BWE.

PROCEDURE:

Specimens of laminae were collected from anesthetized horses prior to euthanasia. Expression of COX-1 and COX-2 mRNA in laminae of control and affected horses was evaluated via real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction techniques.

RESULTS:

Expression of COX-2 mRNA was significantly increased in the BWE-treated group, compared with that in control horses. In contrast to COX-2 regulation, COX-1 mRNA expression was not significantly different between groups. Interestingly, despite consistent clinical signs such as leukopenia in all BWE-treated horses, distinct differences in COX-2 mRNA expression were detected among those 5 horses (compared with values for control horses, the increase in COX-2 mRNA expression ranged from no increase to a 30-fold increase).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Results indicated that there was a significant upregulation of COX-2 mRNA expression during the developmental stages of laminitis, with no significant change in expression of the COX-1 isoform. These data appear to provide support for aggressive use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in horses at risk for laminitis; further investigation into the clinical value of selective COX-2 inhibitors for treatment of laminitis in horses appears to be warranted.

PMID:
15631041
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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