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Abstract

Objective— To evaluate effects of polymyxin B sulfate (PMB) on response of horses to endotoxin, using an ex vivo model.

Animals—8 healthy horses.

Procedure—In a crossover design, 3 doses of PMB (100, 1,000, and 10,000 U/kg of body weight) and physiologic saline solution (control) were evaluated. Prior to and for 24 hours after administration of PMB, blood samples were collected into heparinized tubes for use in 2 assays. For the endotoxin-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF) assay, blood samples were incubated (37 C for 4 h) with 1 ng of Escherichia coli or Salmonella Typhimurium endotoxin/ml of blood. Plasma was harvested and assayed. For the residual endotoxin activity assay, plasma was collected into sterile endotoxin-free borosilicate tubes, diluted 1:10 with pyrogen-free water, and incubated for 10 minutes at 70 C. Escherichia coli endotoxin (0.1 or 1 ng/ml of plasma) was added to the thawed samples prior to performing the limulus ameobocyte lysate assay. Serum creatinine concentrations were monitored for 1 week.

Results—Compared with baseline values, PMB caused a significant dose- and time- dependent decrease in endotoxin-induced TNF activity. Compared with baseline values, residual endotoxin activity was significantly reduced after administration of 10,000 U of PMB/kg. Compared with baseline values, 1,000 and 5,000 U of PMB/kg should inhibit 75% of endotoxin-induced TNF activity for 3 and 12 hours, respectively. Serum creatinine concentrations remained within the reference range.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results of the study suggest that PMB is a safe, effective inhibitor of endotoxin-induced inflammation in healthy horses. ( Am J Vet Res 2001; 62:72–76)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine plasma endotoxin concentration in horses competing in a 48-, 83-, or 159-km endurance race and its importance with regard to physical, hematologic, or serum and plasma biochemical variables.

Animals—83 horses.

Procedure—Weight and rectal temperature measurements and blood samples were obtained before, during, and after exercise. Blood samples were analyzed for plasma endotoxin concentration; serum antiendotoxin antibody titers; thromboxane B2 (TxB2) and 6- keto-prostaglandin F (PGF) concentrations; tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) activities; WBC, plasma protein, lactate, serum electrolyte, and calcium concentrations; PCV; and creatine kinase activity.

Results—Detection of plasma endotoxin increased during exercise for horses competing at all distances but occurred more frequently in the 48- and 83-km groups. Plasma lactate concentration was significantly greater when endotoxin was concurrently detected. Endotoxin in plasma was not significantly associated with success of race completion. Plasma TxB2 and PGF concentrations and serum IL-6 activity significantly increased with exercise. Horses that had an excellent fitness level (as perceived by their owners) had greater decreases in serum antiendotoxin antibody titers during exercise than did horses perceived as less fit. In horses with better finish times, TxB2 and PGF concentrations were significantly greater and TNFα activity was significantly less than that of slower horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Endotoxemia developed during endurance racing, but was significantly correlated with increased plasma lactate concentration and not with other variables indicative of endotoxemia. Plasma TxB2 and PGF concentrations and serum TNFα activity may be associated with performance success. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:754–761)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare physiologic, hematologic, and selected serum and plasma biochemical variables obtained from horses competing in 48-, 83-, or 159- km endurance rides before competition and at the same cumulative distance points.

Animals—83 horses.

Procedure—Weight and rectal temperature measurements and blood samples were obtained from horses before, during, and after 1 of 3 rides conducted on the same day. Plasma protein (PP), lactate, WBC, serum electrolyte, and calcium concentrations; PCV; and creatine kinase (CK) activity were determined. Assessments were made to determine whether any differences among groups, with respect to total distance competed, could be explained by differences in lap speed or conditioning and to investigate the effect of time in transit or on-site prior to competition on results of blood analyses or competition outcome.

Results—Horses in the 159-km distance group had the lowest preride serum sodium, chloride, bicarbonate, and calcium concentrations. As hours in transit increased, preride PP concentration was significantly greater; serum sodium, chloride, and bicarbonate concentrations were lower; CK activity at 159 km was greater; and horses were more likely to be eliminated. The preride sodium was significantly greater in horses that completed the ride, compared with those eliminated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among distance groups, distance ridden, speed, level of fitness, and years of experience of horses had little effect on the variables examined. Electrolyte and water supplementation and earlier arrival at the event may be beneficial for horses that are transported long distances to endurance competition. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:746–753)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine which antimicrobials that are used to treat neonatal foals with septicemia attributable to Escherichia coli will minimize endotoxin release from bacteria and subsequent activity of inflammatory mediators while maintaining bactericidal efficacy.

Sample Population—Blood samples from 10 healthy foals.

ProcedureEscherichia coli isolates A and B were isolated from 2 septicemic foals, and minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were determined for 9 antimicrobials. Five of these antimicrobials were tested in vitro at 2 and 20 times their respective MIC. Whole blood or mononuclear cells grown in tissue- culture media were incubated with 105 colonyforming units of E coli and each antimicrobial or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. After 6 hours, number of viable bacteria remaining was determined, and supernatant was tested for endotoxin and tumor necrosis activity.

Results—Testing in whole blood was compromised by bactericidal effects of the blood itself. In mononuclear cell suspensions, each antimicrobial significantly reduced the number of viable bacteria to low or undetectable amounts. Antimicrobials did not differ significantly in efficacy of bacterial killing. Amikacin used alone or in combination with ampicillin resulted in significantly less endotoxin activity than did ampicillin, imipenem, or ceftiofur alone. There was a correlation between TNF-α and endotoxin activity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Aminoglycosides appear less likely to induce endotoxemia and TNF-α synthesis during bactericidal treatment of E coli septicemia, compared with β-lactam antimicrobials. Use of ampicillin, imipenem, or ceftiofur in the treatment of septicemic neonatal foals should be accompanied by appropriate treatment for endotoxemia. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:660–668)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare daily endogenous cortisol production rate and the pharmacokinetics of an IV bolus of hydrocortisone between neonatal foals and adult horses.

Animals—10 healthy full-term 2- to 4-day-old foals and 7 healthy adult horses.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected from each horse every 15 to 20 minutes for 24 hours for determination of 24-hour mean cortisol concentration. Afterward, dexamethasone (0.08 mg/kg) was administered IV to suppress endogenous cortisol production. Twelve hours afterward, hydrocortisone sodium succinate (1.0 mg/kg) was administered as a rapid IV bolus and serial blood samples were collected to determine hydrocortisone pharmacokinetics. Cortisol concentrations, daily cortisol production rate, and hydrocortisone pharmacokinetics were determined, and results were compared between adult horses and foals.

Results—The mean ± SD 24-hour cortisol concentration was significantly lower in foals (20 ± 4 ng/mL) than in horses (26 ± 6 ng/mL), but the daily cortisol production rate was significantly greater in foals (6,710 ± 320 ng/kg/d) than in horses (2,140 ± 400 ng/kg/d). For hydrocortisone, foals had a significantly greater volume of distribution at steady state (1.92 ± 1.11 L/kg) and total body clearance (1.39 ± 0.108 L/kg/h) and significantly lower peak plasma concentration (1,051 ± 343 ng/mL) than did horses (0.58 ± 0.15 L/kg, 0.349 ± 0.065 L/kg/h, and 8,934 ± 3,843 ng/mL, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Important differences were detected in cortisol production and metabolism between neonatal foals and adult horses consistent with lower plasma protein binding of cortisol in foals. This decrease may contribute to cortisol insufficiency during prolonged critical illness in neonatal foals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare tear cortisol concentrations between horses and ponies with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and healthy nonaged (≤ 15 years old) and aged (≥ 20 years old) horses and to determine whether serum and tear cortisol concentrations were correlated.

ANIMALS 11 horses and ponies with PPID and 20 healthy control horses and ponies (11 nonaged and 9 aged).

PROCEDURES Paired tear and serum samples were obtained from PPID and control animals. All animals were free of active ocular disease. Tear and serum cortisol concentrations were measured with an ELISA and chemiluminescent assay, respectively. Groups were compared with Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests, and Spearman correlation analysis was used to examine relationships between tear and serum cortisol concentrations within groups.

RESULTS Median tear cortisol concentration was significantly higher in PPID animals than in aged control animals, despite comparable serum cortisol concentrations in PPID and aged control animals. Median tear-to-serum cortisol concentration ratios were also significantly higher in PPID animals than in aged control animals. Serum and tear cortisol concentrations were not significantly correlated in PPID or control animals.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Some horses and ponies with PPID had increased tear cortisol concentrations, compared with concentrations in healthy aged animals. Localized cortisol production in the tear film or altered cortisol binding dynamics could have contributed to this increase. Further studies are warranted to evaluate these mechanisms and to determine whether increased tear cortisol concentrations are associated with delays in corneal wound healing in horses and ponies with and without PPID.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of a standardized exercise test to exhaustion in horses on leukocyte function ex vivo.

Animals—6 Thoroughbred geldings.

Procedures—Blood samples were obtained from each horse before exercise; at exhaustion (termed failure); and at 2, 6, 24, 48, and 72 hours after exercise to evaluate hematologic changes, rate of leukocyte apoptosis, and leukocyte production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) ex vivo. To assess leukocyte function, leukocyte ROS production in response to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan, zymosan, and phorbol myristate acetate was evaluated. Apoptosis was evaluated via assessment of caspase activity in leukocyte lysates.

Results—In response to lipopolysaccharide, production of ROS by leukocytes was significantly increased at 2 hours and remained increased (albeit not significantly) at 6 hours after exercise, compared with the preexercise value. In the absence of any stimulus, leukocyte ROS production was significantly increased at 6 and 24 hours after exercise. In contrast, ROS production in response to phorbol myristate acetate was significantly decreased at 6, 24, and 72 hours after exercise. Leukocyte ROS production induced by zymosan or peptidoglycan was not altered by exercise. Leukocytosis was evident for 24 hours after exercise, and neutrophilia was detected during the first 6 hours. A significant increase in the rate of leukocyte apoptosis was detected at failure and 72 hours after exercise.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that strenuous exercise undertaken by horses causes alterations in innate immune system functions, some of which persist for as long as 72 hours after exercise.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research