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J Vet Intern Med. 2013 Nov-Dec;27(6):1523-7. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12166. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Effect of clenbuterol on tracheal mucociliary transport in horses undergoing simulated long-distance transportation.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pneumonia is observed in horses after long-distance transportation in association with confinement of head position leading to reduction in tracheal mucociliary clearance rate (TMCR).

HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES:

Clenbuterol, a beta-2 agonist shown to increase TMCR in the horse, will ameliorate the effects of a fixed elevated head position on large airway contamination and inflammation in a model of long-distance transportation model.

ANIMALS:

Six adult horses.

METHODS:

A cross-over designed prospective study. Horses were maintained with a fixed elevated head position for 48 hours to simulate long-distance transport, and treated with clenbuterol (0.8 μg/kg PO q12h) or a placebo starting 12 hours before simulated transportation. TMCR was measured using a charcoal clearance technique. Data were collected at baseline and 48 hours, and included TMCR, tracheal wash cytology and quantitative culture, rectal temperature, CBC, fibrinogen, and serum TNFα, IL-10, and IL-2 levels. There was a 18-21 day washout between study arms, and data were analyzed using regression analysis and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests.

RESULTS:

Tracheal mucociliary clearance rate was significantly decreased after transportation in both treatment (P = .002) and placebo (P = .03) groups. There was a significant effect of treatment on TMCR, with the treatment group showing half the reduction in TMCR compared with the placebo group (P = .002). Other significant differences between before- and after-transportation samples occurred for serum fibrinogen, peripheral eosinophil count, quantitative culture, tracheal bacteria, and degenerate neutrophils, though no treatment effect was found.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:

Treatment with clenbuterol modestly attenuates the deleterious effects of this long-distance transportation model on tracheal mucociliary clearance.

KEYWORDS:

Beta-2 agonist; Pneumonia; Transport; Transportation fever

PMID:
24033504
DOI:
10.1111/jvim.12166
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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