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J Vet Med Sci. 1992 Jun;54(3):435-42.

Equine haptoglobin: isolation, characterization, and the effects of ageing, delivery and inflammation on its serum concentration.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Hayakita-cho, Japan.


Haptoglobin (Hp) was isolated from equine serum by ammonium sulphate precipitation, anion-exchange chromatography and gel filtration. Equine Hp which migrated to the alpha 2-globulin region in electrophoresis, contained 2 fractions with molecular weights (NW) of 108,000 and 105,000, and each fraction consisting of 2 subunits. Quantitative measurement of Hp in equine serum was performed by the single radial immunodiffusion method using anti-equine Hp serum. In clinically normal horses, the highest concentration of serum Hp was found in newborn foals and a high value was maintained until 12 months of age. The concentration then decreased with age. Normal Hp values were 5.25 +/- 2.36 mg/ml in foals (less than or equal to 12 months old), 2.19 +/- 1.54 mg/ml in adult horses (greater than or equal to 18 months old) and 3.62 +/- 0.81 mg/ml in all horses. Serum Hp concentration in mares during the perinatal period in comparison with the normal adult female was high for 4 months pre-partum, a passing increase at delivery, and then decreased at 2 weeks post-partum returning to normal within 1 month of delivery. In horses with experimentally-induced inflammation, serum Hp concentration began to increase immediately after treatment and reached the highest value, 1.5 to 9 times higher than those of pre-treatment at 2 to 5 days, then decreased within 4 weeks. It was also elevated in most cases of horses with clinically inflammatory signs.

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