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Concentrations of substance P and prostaglandin E2 in synovial fluid of normal and abnormal joints of horses

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  • 1 Department of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 3 present address is 1 Minuteman Way, Shrewsbury, MA 01545
  • | 4 Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 5 present address is the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1858.
  • | 6 Genetics Institute, One Burtt Rd, Andover, MA 01810.
  • | 7 Department of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 8 Department of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 9 present address is Genzyme Corp, PO Box 9322, Framingham, MA 01701-9322.
  • | 10 Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, 136 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111.
  • | 11 Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To correlate substance P content of synovial fluid with prostaglandin E2 content, radiographic evidence of joint abnormality, and anatomic location of the joint for normal and osteoarthritic joints of horses.

Sample Population—Synovial fluid from 46 normal joints in 21 horses and 16 osteoarthritic joints in 10 horses.

Procedure—Normal and osteoarthritic joints were identified by clinical and radiographic examination, by response to nerve blocks, during scintigraphy or surgery, or by clinicopathologic evaluation. Substance P and prostaglandin E2 contents of synovial fluid were determined by radioimmunoassay. Radiographs of joints were assigned a numeric score reflecting severity of lesions. Joints were assigned a numeric score reflecting anatomic location.

Results—Median concentrations of substance P and prostaglandin E2 were significantly increased in osteoarthritic joints, compared with normal joints. A significant correlation was found between concentrations of substance P and prostaglandin E2 in synovial fluid, but a correlation was not detected between substance P concentration in synovial fluid and anatomic location of the joint or between radiographic scores of osteoarthritic joints and concentrations of substance P or prostaglandin E2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A correlation existed between concentrations of substance P and prostaglandin E2 in synovial fluid obtained from normal and osteoarthritic joints. However, content of substance P in synovial fluid cannot be predicted by the radiographic appearance of the joint or its anatomic location. Substance P and prostaglandin E2 may share an important and related role in the etiopathogenesis of osteoarthritis, lending credence to the importance of neurogenic inflammation in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61: 714–718)