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Front Vet Sci. 2017 Sep 28;4:159. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00159. eCollection 2017.

Misoprostol Inhibits Equine Neutrophil Adhesion, Migration, and Respiratory Burst in an In Vitro Model of Inflammation.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Comparative Medicine Institute, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States.


In many equine inflammatory disease states, neutrophil activities, such as adhesion, migration, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production become dysregulated. Dysregulated neutrophil activation causes tissue damage in horses with asthma, colitis, laminitis, and gastric glandular disease. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do not adequately inhibit neutrophil inflammatory functions and can lead to dangerous adverse effects. Therefore, novel therapies that target mechanisms of neutrophil-mediated tissue damage are needed. One potential neutrophil-targeting therapeutic is the PGE1 analog, misoprostol. Misoprostol is a gastroprotectant that induces intracellular formation of the secondary messenger molecule cyclic AMP (cAMP), which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on neutrophils. Misoprostol is currently used in horses to treat NSAID-induced gastrointestinal injury; however, its effects on equine neutrophils have not been determined. We hypothesized that treatment of equine neutrophils with misoprostol would inhibit equine neutrophil adhesion, migration, and ROS production, in vitro. We tested this hypothesis using isolated equine peripheral blood neutrophils collected from 12 healthy adult teaching/research horses of mixed breed and gender. The effect of misoprostol treatment on adhesion, migration, and respiratory burst of equine neutrophils was evaluated via fluorescence-based adhesion and chemotaxis assays, and luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence, respectively. Neutrophils were pretreated with varying concentrations of misoprostol, vehicle, or appropriate functional inhibitory controls prior to stimulation with LTB4, CXCL8, PAF, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or immune complex (IC). This study revealed that misoprostol pretreatment significantly inhibited LTB4-induced adhesion, LTB4-, CXCL8-, and PAF-induced chemotaxis, and LPS-, IC-, and PMA-induced ROS production in a concentration-dependent manner. This data indicate that misoprostol-targeting of E-prostanoid (EP) receptors potently inhibits equine neutrophil effector functions in vitro. Additional studies are indicated to further elucidate the role of EP receptors in regulating neutrophil function. Overall, our results suggest misoprostol may hold promise as a novel anti-inflammatory therapeutic in the horse.


NSAID; anti-inflammatory; chemotaxis; horse; inflammation; leukocyte; reactive oxygen species

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