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  • Author or Editor: Rustin M. Moore x
  • Respiratory System x
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Objective—To identify differentially expressed genes in pulmonary tissues of horses affected with summer pasture-associated obstructive pulmonary disease (SPAOPD), which is a form of recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), compared with those of unaffected horses.

Animals—6 horses with SPAOPD-RAO and 6 unaffected (healthy) horses.

Procedures—Horses were assigned to 2 groups on the basis of medical history, clinical score, and transpleural pressure. Total RNA from each of the 5 lung lobes of each of the 6 SPAOPD-RAO–affected horses was extracted and pooled. Similarly, total RNA from unaffected horses was pooled. Differential display (DD) PCR assay was performed, and differentially expressed bands were purified and cloned into a plasmid vector. Plasmids were extracted from recombinant colonies, and purified DNA was sequenced. Genes of interest for RAO pathogenesis were identified. Real-time PCR assay was performed to confirm findings for the DD PCR assay.

Results—18 differentially expressed genes (17 upregulated and 1 downregulated) were identified. Three genes of particular interest were found to be altered (2 upregulated and 1 downregulated) in horses with SPAOPD-RAO by use of real-time PCR assay, and these findings matched the differential expression found by use of the DD PCR assay.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—SPAOPD-RAO in horses is a multifactorial, complex disease involving several genes. Upregulated genes, particularly β2-microglobulin, and the downregulated secretoglobin gene can serve as marker genes that may help to identify SPAOPD-RAO at an early age.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To immunohistochemically determine the expression of endothelin (ET) receptors in bronchial smooth muscle and epithelium of healthy horses and horses affected by summer pasture-associated obstructive pulmonary disease (SPAOPD).

Sample Population—Tissue specimens obtained from 8 healthy and 8 SPAOPD-affected horses.

Procedure—Horses were examined and assigned to healthy and SPAOPD groups. Horses were then euthanatized, and tissue specimens containing bronchi of approximately 4 to 8 mm in diameter were immediately collected from all lung lobes, fixed in zinc-formalin solution for 12 hours, and embedded in paraffin. Polyclonal primary antibodies against ET-A or ET-B receptors at a dilution of 1:200 and biotinylated IgG secondary antibodies were applied to tissue sections, followed by the addition of an avidin-biotin immunoperoxidase complex. Photographs of the stained slides were digitally recorded and analyzed by use of image analysis software to determine the intensity of staining. Two-way ANOVA was used for statistical analysis.

Results—The left diaphragmatic lung lobe of SPAOPD-affected horses had a significantly greater area of bronchial smooth muscle that immunostained for ET-A, compared with that for healthy horses. All lung lobes of SPAOPD-affected horses, except for the right diaphragmatic lobe, had significantly greater staining for ET-B receptors in bronchial smooth muscle, compared with results for healthy horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study revealed overexpression of ET-A and, in particular, ETB receptors in the bronchial smooth muscle of SPAOPD-affected horses, which suggested upregulation of these receptors. These findings improve our understanding of the role of ET-1 in the pathogenesis of SPAOPD.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research