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Abstract

Objective

To determine the potential usefulness of tests for detection of platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte aggregates in horses.

Samples

Blood from 3 healthy Thoroughbreds.

Procedures

Microscopic and flow cytometric assays were used to evaluate spontaneous platelet aggregation, platelet activation, and platelet-leukocyte aggregates. Platelet activation was detected by evaluation of binding of anti-human fibrinogen to unactivated and ADP-, thrombin-, thrombin agonist receptor peptide-, and platelet activating factor-activated platelets. Platelet-leukocyte aggregates were evaluated microscopically and by flow cytometric determination of leukocyte fluorescence that resulted from binding of fluorescently labeled platelets to leukocytes.

Results

Equine platelets readily aggregated spontaneously when blood was stirred at low, medium, and high speeds. Compared with unactivated platelets, activated platelets had a marked increase in the percentage of cells with increased fluorescence intensity and in mean fluorescence intensity. Unactivated platelets formed aggregates with neutrophils and monocytes, but not with lymphocytes. Activation of platelets resulted in a calcium-dependent increase in platelet-leukocyte aggregates.

Conclusions

Flow cytometric techniques can be used to detect in vitro platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte aggregates in horses.

Clinical Relevance

Flow cytometric techniques may be useful for detection of prothrombotic disorders in horses. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:823–827)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Prothrombotic changes occurring in the prodromal stages of carbohydrate-induced laminitis were investigated. Hemostatic alterations were evaluated by determining platelet counts, platelet survival, activated partial thromboplastin time, one-stage prothrombin time, and monocyte procoagulant activity. Thrombosis of vessels in the hoof wall was evaluated by contrast arteriography and histologic examination. Of 5 horses, 4 became lame between 28 and 52 hours after carbohydrate administration. Mean platelet count in laminitis-affected horses was lower throughout the prodromal stages of laminitis, compared with that in control horses, but differences were not statistically significant. However, survival of indium-111-labeled platelets was less than the value in control horses by 6 hours after carbohydrate administration. Arteriography of disarticulated feet revealed marked reduction in blood supply to hooves in laminitis-affected horses. Histologic examination of the laminar dermis disclosed microthrombi in venules of the laminar dermis in 2 of 4 affected horses. Statistically significant changes in prothrombin time were not observed, and changes in activated partial thromboplastin time were slight and occurred only at the onset of lameness. Statistically significant changes in monocyte procoagulant activity were not observed. Plasma endotoxin-like activity was not detected in laminitis-affected horses. These data indicate that platelet survival was decreased within the first 6 hours after induction of carbohydrate-induced laminitis, but systemic activation of the coagulation system was not detected.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Cat foods containing propylene glycol (pg) induce Heinz body formation in feline erythrocytes. To further study the hematologic importance of dietary pg, 21 adult cats were allotted to 3 groups of 7 each and fed diets containing 0,6, or 12% pg on a dry-weight basis. Cats fed pg had a dose-related increase in Heinz bodies within 2 weeks, and the increase persisted throughout the study. Although only slight changes occurred in pcv, hemoglobin concentration, and rbc count, punctate reticulocytes were significantly increased in the group fed 12% pg. Mean rbc survival was decreased in the groups fed 6 or 12% pg by 30 and 55%, respectively, compared with the control group. These data indicate that pg-containing diets cause a dose-dependent erythrocyte destruction, even when fed at concentrations as low as 6%.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objectives

To determine whether platelets become activated and form platelet-neutrophil aggregates during near-maximal treadmill exercise in horses.

Animals

4 Thoroughbreds.

Procedure

Horses were subjected to 4 standardized exercise tests on a treadmill, and blood samples were collected before exercise, at treadmill speed of 12 m/s, and 5 minutes after exercise. Flow cytometric techniques were used to identify activated platelets, and flow cytometric and microscopic techniques were used to identify platelet-neutrophil aggregates.

Results

Platelet-neutrophil aggregates increased from 2.8 ± 0.4% at rest to 17.2 ± 1.1% and 14.7 ± 1.6% during and after exercise, respectively. Platelet activation was not detected during or after exercise.

Conclusions

Platelet-neutrophil aggregates consistently form during strenuous exercise in horses. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:393–396)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Objectives

To determine whether platelets are hyperaggregable or form platelet-neutrophil aggregates during the prodromal stages of acute laminitis of ponies.

Animals

Healthy adult ponies: 8 experimental and 6 control.

Procedures

Acute laminitis was induced by oral administration of corn starch and wood flour to 8 ponies, and indices of platelet activation were evaluated. Blood samples were collected before and at 4, 8, 12, 24, 28, and 32 hours after carbohydrate administration, and PCV, total plasma protein concentration, platelet count, activated clotting time, whole blood recalcification time, spontaneous platelet aggregation, ex vivo platelet aggregation responses, and platelet-neutrophil aggregates were determined. When lameness was first detected, ponies were euthanatized and arteriography and histologic examination of hooves were performed.

Results

Carbohydrate overload was associated with hyperaggregability of platelets throughout the prodromal stages of laminitis and increased numbers of platelet-neutrophil aggregates. Reduction of blood supply to affected hooves was variable, and blood clots were found in 6 of 11 laminitis-affected hooves.

Conclusions

Platelets were hyperaggregable throughout the prodromal stages of carbohydrate-induced laminitis and formed platelet-neutrophil aggregates. Platelet-neutrophil aggregates may initiate or contribute to development of acute laminitis.

Clinical Relevance

Anti-platelet therapy may be useful for treatment of acute alimentary laminitis in horses. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:1376–1380)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Effects of echinocytosis on blood rheology and exercise performance were evaluated for 5 Thoroughbreds. Echinocytosis was induced by administration of furosemide (1 mg/kg of body weight, im, q 12 h) for 4 days. Furosemide treatment resulted in decreases in serum sodium and serum chloride concentrations and in RBC chloride and potassium concentrations. Echinocytosis was associated with increased rbc density as determined by rbc density gradient centrifugation. However, samples containing echinocytes were more filterable than control samples, indicating that echinocytes were not rigid cells. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate was decreased in blood samples containing echinocytes, indicating that cell-to-cell interaction was reduced. Whole blood viscosity was not altered by presence of echinocytes. Echinocytes did not impair the capacity of horses to complete treadmill exercise tests, nor did they alter heart rate or blood gas variables. However, plasma lactate concentration was higher in samples obtained during exercise at a treadmill speed of 9 m/s. Echinocytosis was associated with higher postrace creatine kinase activity. These data indicate that echinocytes may be dense, but not rigid cells, which have decreased tendency to aggregate and do not increase whole blood viscosity. Therefore, echinocytes are unlikely to inhibit or obstruct microvascular blood flow.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

The hypothesis that equine laminitis is caused by thrombosis of vessels in the laminar corium (dermis) was investigated. Hemostatic alterations were evaluated by determining platelet count, platelet survival, platelet adhesiveness to vascular subendothelium, activated clotting time, and whole blood recalcification time. Thrombosis of vessels in the hoof wall was evaluated by scintigraphic studies of the hoof wall after administration of indium-111 (111In)-labeled platelets, contrast arteriography, and histologic examination. Platelet count remained constant before and at the onset of lameness; however, survival of 111In-labeled platelets was shortened. Scintigraphy of affected feet revealed accumulation of 111In-labeled platelets distal to the coronary band. Arteriography of disarticulated saline-perfused feet revealed marked reduction in blood supply to affected hooves. Histologic examination of the laminar dermis disclosed variable numbers of microthrombi in dermal veins of affected feet from 3 of 4 ponies with laminitis. Whole blood recalcification time was shortened at 8 hours after administration of carbohydrate and was prolonged at the onset of laminitis. Activated clotting time was prolonged at 32 hours after carbohydrate administration and at the onset of lameness. Plasma endotoxin-like activity was detected in 1 of 4 affected ponies. These data confirm that microvascular thrombosis existed at the onset of lameness in ponies with carbohydrate-induced laminitis and indicate that systemic coagulopathy may have preceded development of thrombosis.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

The effects of furosemide and pentoxifylline on blood flow properties in horses were investigated. Hematologic and rheologic changes were examined in 4 horses before and 3 minutes after administration of epinephrine (1 mg, iv). The next day, hemorheologic changes were determined before and 3 hours after administration of furosemide (1 mg/kg of body weight, im), and after administration of epinephrine at the sampling at 3 hours. Hematologic and rheologic changes were evaluated weekly in 3 horses given pentoxifylline (8.5 mg/kg, q 12 h, po) for 28 days. In addition, hemorheologic responses to epinephrine were determined on days 0, 14, and 28 of pentoxifylline treatment. Neutrophil filtration studies were also performed 2 hours after iv administration of pentoxifylline (8.5 mg/kg).

Postepinephrine values for pcv, rbc and wbc counts, and blood viscosity were greater than preepinephrine values. Erythrocyte sedimentation rates decreased after epinephrine, whereas rbc filterability did not change. Treatment with furosemide was associated with increases in mean rbc hemoglobin concentration and blood viscosity. Filterability of rbc did not change. Treatment with pentoxifyllie resulted in an increase in rbc filterability and erythrocyte sedimentation rate and a decrease in pcv; however, mean values for hematocrit and rbc count did not change. Treatment with pentoxifylline did not result in a change in resting blood viscosity, but markedly reduced the postepinephrine increase in blood viscosity. Neither iv nor orally administered pentoxifylline had an effect on neutrophil filtration. It was concluded that pentoxifylline has beneficial effects on rbc filterability and postepinephrine changes in blood viscosity, which may contribute to improvements of microcirculatory blood flow. In addition, furosemide may exacerbate exercise-associated hyperviscosity in horses.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objectives

To determine whether platelets become activated and form platelet-platelet or platelet-neutrophil aggregates, or both, when subjected to shear.

Sample Population

Blood obtained from 3 Thoroughbreds.

Procedures

Blood, with PCV adjusted to 32 (low hematocrit) or 60 (high hematocrit)%, was subjected to shear rates of 11.25, 22.5, 45, 90, 225, and 750/s for 3 minutes by use of a cone-plate viscometer. Flow cytometric techniques were used to identify activated platelets, platelet-platelet aggregates, and platelet-neutrophil aggregates.

Results

Shear resulted in decreased platelet count, increased mean platelet volume, platelet activation, and formation of platelet-platelet and platelet-neutrophil aggregates. These changes occurred at lower shear rates in blood with high hematocrit. Platelet-neutrophil aggregate formation was inhibited by blocking P-selectin, but not CD11/CD18 receptors.

Conclusions

Shear-induced platelet activation and aggregate formation occur at physiologic shear rates.

Clinical Relevance

Shear-induced platelet activation may explain the exercise-associated platelet-neutrophil aggregates observed in Thoroughbreds undergoing treadmill exercise. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1243-1246)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Echinocytes have been incriminated in the pathogenesis of exertional diseases in horses. To evaluate the hypothesis that echinocytes are dehydrated erythrocytes, we decreased blood sodium and potassium concentrations in 4 horses by administering furosemide (1.0 mg/kg of body weight, q 12 h) for 2 days and we monitored cbc, serum and erythrocyte sodium and potassium concentrations, and echinocyte numbers. Serum sodium concentration decreased progressively over the 48 hours of furosemide administration, then returned to near baseline concentration at 168 hours. A statistically significant decrease (P < 0.05) in serum potassium concentration was observed at 24, 48, and 72 hours after initial furosemide administration, and remained less than the baseline value at the end of the study. Mean erythrocyte potassium concentration decreased rapidly and remained low at the end of the study. Minimal changes were observed in erythrocyte sodium concentration during the first 72 hours after furosemide administration, but the value was significantly (P < 0.05) increased at 168 hours. Type-I and type-II echinocyte numbers increased by 4 hours after furosemide administration and persisted throughout the study. Type-III echinocytes were not seen in baseline samples, but numbers increased only modestly after furosemide administration. Administration of epinephrine to well-hydrated horses increased echinocyte numbers only minimally, indicating that splenic contraction was not the likely cause for the furosemide-associated increase.

To determine whether the decrease in erythrocyte potassium concentration and increase in sodium concentration was caused by furosemide acting directly on the erythrocyte membrane, we quantified erythrocyte potassium and sodium concentrations before and after incubation with furosemide in vitro. Incubation of erythrocytes with furosemide failed to induce depletion of erythrocyte potassium concentration or to increase erythrocyte sodium concentration.

These data support the hypothesis that echinocytes are dehydrated cells and that these changes are induced by total body cation depletion.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research