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Objective—To compare measurements of myeloperoxidase (MPO) in plasma, laminar tissues, and skin obtained from control horses and horses given black walnut heartwood extract (BWHE).

Animals—22 healthy 5- to 15-year-old horses.

Procedures—Horses were randomly assigned to 4 groups as follows: a control group given water (n = 5) and 3 experimental groups given BWHE (17) via nasogastric intubation. Experimental groups consisted of 5, 6, and 6 horses that received BWHE and were euthanatized at 1.5, 3, and 12 hours after intubation, respectively. Control horses were euthanatized at 12 hours after intubation. Plasma samples were obtained hourly for all horses. Laminar tissue and skin from the middle region of the neck were harvested at the time of euthanasia. Plasma and tissue MPO concentrations were determined via an ELISA; tissue MPO activity was measured by use of specific immunologic extraction followed by enzymatic detection.

Results—Tissues and plasma of horses receiving BWHE contained significantly higher concentrations of MPO beginning at hour 3. Laminar tissue and skin from horses in experimental groups contained significantly higher MPO activity than tissues from control horses. Concentrations and activities of MPO in skin and laminar tissues were similar over time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In horses, BWHE administration causes increases in MPO concentration and activity in laminar tissue and skin and the time of increased MPO concentration correlates with emigration of WBCs from the vasculature. These findings support the hypothesis that activation of peripheral WBCs is an early step in the pathogenesis of acute laminitis.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research