Objective—To characterize adiponectin protein complexes in lean and obese horses.
Animals—26 lean horses and 18 obese horses.
Procedures—Body condition score (BCS) and serum insulin activity were measured for each horse. Denaturing and native western blot analyses were used to evaluate adiponectin complexes in serum. A human ELISA kit was validated and used to quantify high–molecular weight (HMW) complexes. Correlations between variables were made, and HMW values were compared between groups.
Results—Adiponectin was present as a multimer consisting of HMW (> 720-kDa), low-molecular weight (180-kDa), and trimeric (90-kDa) complexes in serum. All complexes were qualitatively reduced in obese horses versus lean horses, but the percentage of complexes < 250 kDa was higher in obese versus lean horses. High–molecular weight adiponectin concentration measured via ELISA was negatively correlated with serum insulin activity and BCS and was lower in obese horses (mean ± SD, 3.6 ± 3.9 μg/mL), compared with lean horses (8.0 ± 4.6 μg/mL).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—HMW adiponectin is measurable via ELISA, and concentration is negatively correlated with BCS and serum insulin activity in horses. A greater understanding of the role of adiponectin in equine metabolism will provide insight into the pathophysiology of metabolic disease conditions.
OBJECTIVE To determine whether exercise on alternative terrain affects the development of the digital cushion and bony structures of the bovine foot.
ANIMALS 20 weaned bull calves.
PROCEDURES Two-month-old calves were randomly allocated to an exercise or control group. For 4 months, the control group was maintained in grass paddocks, and the exercise group was maintained in a 0.8-km lane with a mixed terrain of dirt, stones (0.32- to 0.95-cm pea gravel and 5-cm crusher run), and grass. Water and food for the exercise group were located at opposite ends of the lane; calves were fed twice daily, which ensured they walked 3.2 km/d. Pedometers were applied to all calves to measure distance traveled. All calves were slaughtered at 6 months of age. The right forefeet and hind feet were harvested for MRI and CT evaluation.
RESULTS Control calves walked a mean of 1.1 km daily, whereas the exercised calves walked a mean of 3.2 km daily. Mean digital cushion volume and surface area were 25,335 mm3 and 15,647 mm2, respectively, for the exercised calves and 17,026 mm3 and 12,745 mm2, respectively, for the control calves. When weight was controlled, mean digital cushion volume and surface area for the exercise group were increased by 37.10% and 18.25%, respectively, from those for the control group.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that exercise on alternative terrain increased the volume and surface area of the digital cushion of the feet of dairy calves, which should make them less susceptible to lameness.