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- Author or Editor: Allen E. Goodship x
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Objective—To determine whether specific treadmill exercise regimens would accelerate age-related changes in collagen fibril diameter distributions in the common digital extensor tendon (CDET) of the forelimbs of young Thoroughbreds.
Animals—24 female Thoroughbreds.
Procedure—Horses were trained for 18 weeks (6 horses; short term) or 18 months (5 horses; long term) on a high-speed treadmill; 2 age-matched control groups (6 horses/group) performed walking exercise only. Horses were (mean ± SD) 24 ± 1 months and 39 ± 1 months old at termination of the shortterm and long-term regimens, respectively. Midmetacarpal CDET specimens were obtained and processed for transmission electron microscopy. Diameter and area of at least 1,000 collagen fibrils/specimen were measured by use of computerized image analysis. Mass-average diameter (MAD) of collagen fibrils and collagen fibril index were calculated for each horse.
Results—Collagen fibril MAD for the older horses was significantly less than that for the younger horses. Exercise did not significantly affect fibril diameter or distributions in either age group, and collagen fibril index did not differ significantly between groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Age-related reduction in collagen fibril MAD agreed with findings for other tendons and species. Training did not accelerate age-related change in the CDET, in contrast to a reported decrease in collagen fibril MAD in the superficial digital flexor tendon of horses trained long term. Our results support the concept that the functionally distinct nature of the CDET and superficial digital flexor tendon in horses results in fundamentally different responses to high-speed exercise regimens. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:564–568)
Objective—To evaluate changes in serum concentrations of biochemical markers of bone metabolism and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) associated with treadmill exercise in young horses.
Animals—12 two-year-old Thoroughbred mares.
Procedure—During a 20-week study period, 6 horses were exercised on a treadmill 3 times a week (exercise group) and 6 horses received walking exercise 6 days a week (controls). Serum concentrations or activity of biochemical markers and IGF-I were assessed biweekly. Bone mineral density and content of the first phalanx were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorbiometry (DEXA) on completion of the study.
Results—Compared with values in controls, bone mineral density and content were higher and serum concentrations of osteocalcin (a marker of bone formation) and the carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (a marker of bone resorption; ICTP) were lower in exercised horses. Serum concentration and activity of the bone formation markers carboxy-terminal propeptide of type I collagen and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) were not different between the 2 groups. Serum IGF-I concentration was lower in the exercise group, compared with control values; there was a significant correlation between change in IGF-I values and changes in osteocalcin, ICTP, and BAP values at the end of the study.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treadmill exercise over 20 weeks induced adaptive changes in bones of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds; training appears to increase bone mineral density, thereby enhancing mechanical strength of bone, but decreases bone turnover. Results indicated an association between changes in serum IGF-I concentration and bone cell activity in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1549–1556)
Objective—To investigate effects of exercise on hyaline cartilage (HC), calcified cartilage (CC), and subchondral bone (SCB) thickness patterns of equine tarsi.
Sample Population—30 tarsi from cadavers of horses with known exercise history.
Procedures—Tarsi were assigned to 3 groups according to known exercise history as follows: pasture exercise only (PE tarsi), low-intensity general-purpose riding exercise (LE tarsi), and high-intensity elite competition riding exercise (EE tarsi). Osteochondral tissue from distal tarsal joints underwent histologic preparation. Hyaline cartilage, CC, and SCB thickness were measured at standard sites at medial, midline, and lateral locations across joints with a histomorphometric technique.
Results—HC, CC, and SCB thickness were significantly greater at all sites in EE tarsi, compared with PE tarsi; this was also true when LE tarsi were compared with PE tarsi. At specific sites, HC, CC, and SCB were significantly thicker in EE tarsi, compared with LE tarsi. Along the articular surface of the proximal aspect of the third metatarsal bone, SCB was thickest in EE tarsi and thinnest in LE tarsi; increases were greatest at sites previously reported to undergo peak strains and osteochondral damage.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased exercise was associated with increased HC, CC, and SCB thickness in mature horses. At sites that undergo high compressive strains, with a reported predisposition to osteoarthritic change, there was increased CC and SCB thickness. These results may provide insight into the interaction between adaptive response to exercise and pathological change.
Objective—To determine those bones in the distal aspect of the limbs of Greyhounds with fatigue fractures that have the greatest left-to-right differences in bone-mineral density (BMD).
Sample Population—Limbs obtained from 20 Greyhounds.
Procedure—Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of the distal aspect of each limb and isolated bones from 10 dogs with a fracture of the central tarsal bone (CTB) of the right pelvic limb was performed. Highresolution scanning was performed on excised bones, and BMD measurements of CTB also were obtained from limbs of dogs without a CTB fracture.
Results—The BMD of the accessory carpal bone and calcaneus was not significantly different from the BMD of those bones in the contralateral limb. Although BMD of the CTB of the entire right pelvic limb and isolated bones from dogs with a CTB fracture was lower, compared with values for the entire left pelvic limb, values for isolated CTB from dogs without a CTB fracture were not significantly different. Metacarpal or metatarsal and thoracic or pelvic limb significantly affected BMD for measurements of the entire limb and isolated bones. Left-to-right differences in BMD were greatest for metacarpal 5.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Asymmetric adaptive remodeling of metacarpal 5 can be detected by DXA. The potentially confounding effects of CTB fracture and unknown racing history made it difficult to interpret BMD changes in the CTB of these specimens. Densitometry could be developed as an in vivo assessment for risk of fractures in racing Greyhounds. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1214–1219)
Objective—To determine whether histopathologic characteristics of the osteochondral units of equine distal tarsal joints were associated with exercise history in horses without lameness.
Sample Population—30 cadaver tarsi from horses without lameness and with known exercise history were separated into 3 groups: nonridden, pasture exercise (group P); low-intensity, ridden exercise (group L); and high-intensity, elite competition exercise (group E).
Procedures—Standardized sites from the centrodistal and tarsometatarsal joints under went histologic preparation. A grading system was adapted to describe location, depth, and shape of lesions; cellular arrangement; organization at cartilage and subchondral bone (SCB) junctions; and organization of SCB. A high score signified a more severe pathological change than a low score. Exercise groups were compared by calculation of Spearman rank correlations.
Results—In the centrodistal joint, lesions were present in groups L and E but only medially. Cellular arrangement scores were higher at the dorsomedial location in group P than in groups L and E. Groups L and E had higher scores than group P for the organization of the cartilage, SCB junctions, and SCB, with higher scores at the dorsomedial location. In the tarsometatarsal joint, lesions were evident across the whole joint surface, with more severe lesions located laterally in all 3 groups. Overall, group E had higher scores for cellular arrangement and SCB organization than groups P and L.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ridden exercise may increase the risk of osteochondral lesions at distal tarsal sites predisposed to osteoarthritis relative to the risk with nonridden exercise.
Objective—To investigate effects of age on thickness and morphologic characteristics of hyaline cartilage, calcified cartilage, total cartilage, and subchondral bone (SCB) in the equine tarsometatarsal joint.
Sample Population—23 tarsal joints from cadavers of 23 ponies (11 days to 25 years old); ponies were limited to pasture exercise and euthanatized for reasons not related to this study.
Procedures—Tarsi were allocated into several age groups (11 days old [n = 3], 6 to 9 months old , 2 to 3 years old , 6 to 8 years old , 11 to 17 years old , and 20 to 25 years old ). Histologic examination and histomorphometric measurement of hyaline cartilage, calcified cartilage, total cartilage, and SCB were performed at medial and lateral sites.
Results—A significant decrease was detected in thickness of hyaline cartilage and total cartilage with increasing age, but there was a significant increase in thickness of calcified cartilage and SCB with increasing age. Differences in chondrocyte and collagen fiber arrangement, tidemark, and osteochondral junction morphology were evident among age groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These findings suggested that the various tissues of the osteochondral unit change in different ways with age. The response of each tissue may be related to relative response of the tissues to strains induced by pasture exercise but could have an influence on how the overall properties of the osteochondral unit change with age. The findings may also be suggestive of changes that develop prior to the onset of osteoarthritis.