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Lab Invest. 1988 Aug;59(2):253-62.

An inherited connective tissue disease in the horse.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada.


The hyperextensible, fragile skin of two related horses was compared with the skin of eight normal horses. Skin sections were examined by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The deep dermal layer of the dorsal abdomen was much thinner in the affected horses, and contained bundles of collagen fibers which were more loosely packed. Within individual fibers, the fibrils were frequently curved and nonparallel rather than straight and parallel. Both of the affected animals had a greater range of fibril diameters than a normal horse. They had some unusually thick fibrils with very irregular outlines in cross-sections, not observed in the normal animal. Other skin samples were subjected to acetic acid extraction, pepsin digestion, amino acid analysis and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. In the skin of the two affected horses, the proportion of total extracted collagen which was acid-soluble was twice as high as in two normal horses. Collagen types I and III were present in similar proportions in normal and affected horses, and the collagen chains were of normal molecular weights. The disorder resembles the group described by Minor (Minor RR: Am J Pathol 98: 226, 1980) as 'dominant collagen packing defect I' which has been reported in dogs, mink, and cats, and which shares features with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome I, II, and III in man. The pedigree data available for these horses suggest an autosomal recessive mutation, but are also consistent with autosomal dominant inheritance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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