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Comparison of the response to experimentally induced short-term inflammation in the temporomandibular and metacarpophalangeal joints of horses

James L. Carmalt MA, VetMB, MVSc1, Chris D. Bell DVM, MVSc2, Dane M. Tatarniuk3, Sarabjeet S. Suri PhD4, Baljit Singh BVSc&AH, PhD5, and Cheryl Waldner DVM, PhD6
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  • 1 Departments of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 2 Departments of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 3 Departments of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 4 Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 5 Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 6 Departments of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the relationship between inflammatory responses of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint in clinically normal horses.

Animals—7 mature horses.

Procedures—In each horse, 1 TMJ and 1 MCP joint were injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 0.0025 μg). The contralateral TMJ and MCP joint were injected with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Synovial fluid samples were collected from all 4 joints over 24 hours after injection. Concentrations of interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, transforming growth factor-β, and total protein were measured via immunoassay. Horses were assessed for clinical signs of joint inflammation at each time point.

Results—Concentrations of interleukin-6 were not significantly different between LPS-injected MCP joints and TMJs at any time point. Transforming growth factor-β concentrations were significantly increased in MCP joints, compared with concentrations in TMJs, at 12 and 24 hours after injection. Tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations were significantly higher in LPS-injected TMJs than in LPS-injected MCP joints at 1 and 6 hours after injection. Total protein concentration did not differ significantly between LPS-injected MCP joints and TMJs. Injection of LPS induced clinical inflammation at all time points; additionally, 2 MCP joints (but no TMJs) had an inflammatory response to injection of saline solution.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The inflammatory response to LPS appeared to be attenuated more quickly in TMJs than in MCP joints of horses. The difference in response suggested that a lack of clinical osteoarthritis in the TMJ of horses could be attributable to a difference in cytokine response.

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the relationship between inflammatory responses of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint in clinically normal horses.

Animals—7 mature horses.

Procedures—In each horse, 1 TMJ and 1 MCP joint were injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 0.0025 μg). The contralateral TMJ and MCP joint were injected with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Synovial fluid samples were collected from all 4 joints over 24 hours after injection. Concentrations of interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, transforming growth factor-β, and total protein were measured via immunoassay. Horses were assessed for clinical signs of joint inflammation at each time point.

Results—Concentrations of interleukin-6 were not significantly different between LPS-injected MCP joints and TMJs at any time point. Transforming growth factor-β concentrations were significantly increased in MCP joints, compared with concentrations in TMJs, at 12 and 24 hours after injection. Tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations were significantly higher in LPS-injected TMJs than in LPS-injected MCP joints at 1 and 6 hours after injection. Total protein concentration did not differ significantly between LPS-injected MCP joints and TMJs. Injection of LPS induced clinical inflammation at all time points; additionally, 2 MCP joints (but no TMJs) had an inflammatory response to injection of saline solution.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The inflammatory response to LPS appeared to be attenuated more quickly in TMJs than in MCP joints of horses. The difference in response suggested that a lack of clinical osteoarthritis in the TMJ of horses could be attributable to a difference in cytokine response.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine-Equine Health Research Fund.

Address correspondence to Dr. Carmalt (james.carmalt@usask.ca).