Summary Reasons for performing study: Recent research has indicated that inflammation plays a role in the early stages of laminitis and that, similar to organ failure in human sepsis, early inflammatory mechanisms may lead to downstream events resulting in lamellar failure. Characterisation of the type of immune response (i.e. innate vs. adaptive) is essential in order to develop therapeutic strategies to counteract these deleterious events. Objectives: To quantitate gene expression of pro‐inflammatory cytokines known to be important in the innate and adaptive immune response during the early stages of laminitis, using both the black walnut extract (BWE) and oligofructose (OF) models of laminitis. Methods: Real‐time qPCR was used to assess lamellar mRNA expression of interleukins‐1β, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 18, and tumour necrosis factor alpha and interferon gamma at the developmental stage and at the onset of lameness. Results: Significantly increased lamellar mRNA expression of cytokines important in the innate immune response were present at the developmental stage of the BWE model, and at the onset of acute lameness in both the BWE model and OF model. Of the cytokines characteristic of the Th1 and Th2 arms of the adaptive immune response, a mixed response was noted at the onset of acute lameness in the BWE model, whereas the response was skewed towards a Th1 response at the onset of lameness in the OF model. Conclusions: Lamellar inflammation is characterised by strong innate immune response in the developmental stages of laminitis; and a mixture of innate and adaptive immune responses at the onset of lameness. Potential relevance: These results indicate that anti‐inflammatory treatment of early stage laminitis (and the horse at risk of laminitis) should include not only therapeutic drugs that address prostanoid activity, but should also address the marked increases in lamellar cytokine expression.
Equine Veterinary Journal – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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