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.
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.