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  • Author or Editor: Anthony Blikslager x
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Objective—To assess expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 in naturally occurring squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and the analogous normal tissues in horses.

Sample Population—Tissue samples collected from 3 conjunctival, 2 vulvar, 4 preputial, and 5 penile SCCs during surgical excision in 14 horses and from corresponding body regions (conjunctiva [n = 5 horses], vulva [2], prepuce [3], and penis [3]) in 5 horses euthanized for reasons unrelated to neoplasia.

Procedures—Tissue samples were snap frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at −80°C until analysis. Protein was extracted from the frozen tissues, and western blot analyses were performed. Nonneoplastic and abnormal tissues from each body region were run on the same blot, and blots were run in triplicate. Molecular-weight markers and COX-1 and 2 ovine standards (positive control samples) were run concurrently on the gels; negative control samples were not used.

Results—All tissues, including the nonneoplastic and SCC tissues, expressed both COX-1 and -2 proteins.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the expression of COX proteins in both nonneoplastic and SCC-affected tissues in horses is markedly different from that in other species. The reason for the potential benefit of COX-2 inhibitors in horses and other species is unknown. Further research needs to be performed to evaluate the efficacy of COX-2 inhibitors as cancer treatments in horses. Investigation of the mechanisms of tumor development in horses should be performed to increase understanding of this disease and ascertain how the mechanisms differ from those in other animals.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To characterize epithelial cells of the small intestine and colon in horses without clinical gastrointestinal abnormalities with an emphasis on the stem cell niche constituents.

SAMPLE Mucosal biopsy specimens from small and large intestines obtained from 12 horses euthanized for reasons unrelated to gastrointestinal disease or systemic disease.

PROCEDURES Intestinal biopsy specimens were collected by sharp dissection immediately following euthanasia. Specimens were prepared for immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence, and transmission electron microscopic imaging to detect and characterize each epithelial cell type. Antibodies against protein biomarkers for cellular identification were selected on the basis of expression in other mammalian species.

RESULTS Intestinal epithelial cell types were identified by means of immunostaining and morphological characterization with transmission electron microscopy. Some differences in biomarker expression and antibody cross-reactivity were identified in equine tissue, compared with other species. However, each known type of mucosal epithelial cell was identified in equine tissue.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The methodology used can enhance detection of stem cells and progenitor cells as well as postmitotic cell lineages in equine intestinal tissues. Results may have relevance to regenerative potential of intestinal mucosa and survival in horses with colic.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research