To investigate the role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in the pathophysiology of equine laminitis, the techniques of in situ zymography and quantitative SDS-PAGE zymography were used to analyse the lamellae and plasma and serum of horses with carbohydrate overload-induced laminitis. The gelatinase activity localised within the epidermal lamellae of laminitic hooves did not differ significantly from normal hooves. In laminitis sections there was an increase in vascular gelatinase activity, possibly associated with the perivascular cuffing of polymorphonucleocytes. Both plasma and serum samples from horses developing laminitis showed a rapid increase in the concentration of circulating latent MMP-9, while MMP-2 remained relatively constant. These results support the hypothesis that laminitis histopathology results from an inadequate regulation of gelatinase activity, resulting in selective degradation of basement membrane components, leading to laminitis due to failure of the basement membrane–epidermis attachment.
Histochemistry and Cell Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 1999
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