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Res Vet Sci. 2012 Aug;93(1):88-96. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2011.08.009. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Urinary glycosaminoglycans in horse osteoarthritis. Effects of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine.

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Departamento de Clínica Médica, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, USP, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Our objectives were to characterize the urinary excretion of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in horse osteoarthritis, and to investigate the effects of chondroitin sulfate (CS) and glucosamine (GlcN) upon the disease. Urinary GAGs were measured in 47 athletic horses, 20 healthy and 27 with osteoarthritis. The effects of CS and GlcN were investigated in mild osteoarthritis. In comparison to normal, urinary GAGs were increased in osteoarthritis, including mild osteoarthritis affecting only one joint. Treatment with CS+GlcN led to a long lasting increase in the urinary CS and keratan sulfate (KS), and significant improvement in flexion test of tarsocrural and metacarpophalangeal joints was observed. In conclusion, urinary CS and KS seems to reflect the turnover rates of cartilage matrix proteoglycans, and the measurement of these compounds could provide objective means of evaluating and monitoring joint diseases.

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