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  • Author or Editor: Hua Shen x
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To test the hypothesis that the mutation associated with porcine stress syndrome (pss; malignant hyperthermia) was present in a large proportion of North American and English swine, a simple and rapid laboratory protocol was used for cost-effective, large-scale diagnosis of susceptibility to pss. This pss test was applied to 10,245 breeding swine of various breeds from 129 farms in the United States, Canada, and England. Approximately 1 of 5 swine was a heterozygous carrier of the pss mutation, with approximately 1% being homozygotes. Prevalence of the pss mutation was 97% for 58 Pietrain, 35% for 1,962 Landrace, 15% for 718 Duroc, 19% for 720 Large White, 14% for 496 Hampshire, 19% for 1,727 Yorkshire, and 16% for 3,446 crossbred swine. The pss gene frequencies for these breeds were 0.72, 0.19, 0.08, 0.10, 0.07, 0.10, and 0.09, respectively. In addition to these breeds, we have identified the pss mutation in Poland China and Berkshire breeds. These gene frequencies were 30 to 75% lower in Canadian swine than in US swine, with the exception of Yorkshires, for which the gene frequency was threefold higher in Canadian swine. English swine were similarly, or more so, affected than were US swine. Accuracy was estimated at > 99%. Cost to perform the test was < $20/ animal. Depending on the perceived net balance of deleterious and beneficial effects of the mutation, the pss test could be used to eradicate the pss mutation from herds, or for controlled expression of the mutation.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Recent studies indicate that in animals with marked cardiac hypertrophy, there is depressed function of Ca2+ sequestration by myocardial sarcoplasmic reticulum (sr) because of down regulation of the Ca2+-ATPase gene. However, in several animal models we have observed enhancement of myocardial Ca2+ sequestration in response to chronic cardiac stimulation. We tested the hypothesis that in animals with mild cardiac hypertrophy, there is enhanced Ca2+-cycling activity by the sr Ca2+ pump and Ca2+-release channel. Because creatine kinase activity is consistently decreased in cardiomyopathy, we also determined whether enhanced Ca2+ cycling was accompanied by down regulation or inhibition of the creatine kinase system. Mild cardiac hypertrophy was induced by volume overload; 2% salt was added to the diet of 2-week-old turkey poults for 4 weeks.

Compared with age-matched controls, volume overload resulted in 14.3% increase in heart weight and 21.5% increase in heart-to-body weight ratios. The hypertrophied heart had approximately 20% increased activities of the sr Ca2+ pump and the sr Ca2+ channel. Net Ca2+ transport was increased by 16.5%. Compared with controls and in contrast to several other myocardial enzymes, creatine kinase activity was diminished in the hypertrophied hearts by 23% and creatine content was decreased by 8%. Differences between groups were not detected for lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate transaminase, and alanine transaminase.

We concluded that an early adaptation of the myocardium undergoing hypertrophy in compensatory response to functional overload is an enhancement of Ca2+ cycling activity by the Ca2+ pump and Ca2+ channel of the sr. In contrast to late-stage hypertrophy, there is no evidence for down regulation of the Ca2+-ATPase gene. However, creatine kinase activity and creatine content are diminished by mild cardiac hypertrophy.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Characteristic alterations in the serum and urine biochemical profiles of Doberman Pinschers with congestive heart failure (chf) resulting from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy were determined. We compared these alterations with those observed in 2 other models of chf: rate overload induced by rapid ventricular pacing in dogs, and biventricular hypertrophy and dilatation induced in turkey poults by furazolidone toxicosis. Serum and urine biochemical changes in both models of chf in dogs were mild to moderate in degree, and were moderately consistent. They could be attributed to secondary neurohumoral, hepatic, and renal effects of heart failure. The most marked and consistent changes observed were mildly decreased anion gap that developed, in part, because of decreased serum sodium concentration, moderately increased catecholamine concentrations, moderate lactaciduria, hyposthenuria, and mildly increased urea concentrations and liver enzyme activities. In birds with furazolidone cardiomyopathy, we observed mild increases in serum urate concentration, liver and muscle enzyme activities, but moderately increased sodium concentration with decreased chloride concentration. In the pacing and furazolidone models, in which chf was rapidly induced, moderate to marked hypoproteinemia was attributable to decreases in albumin and globulin concentrations. Using the avian model we found that the hypoproteinemia could be largely attributed to blood volume expansion, and to a lesser extent, inanition. Development of hypoalbuminemia during rapid ventricular pacing and furazolidone treatment may contribute to the effects of rate overload or drug toxicity in the pathogenesis of chf, because hypoalbuminemia may contribute to altered hemodynamics and neuroendocrine system activation. Our data indicate that clinical biochemical analysis of serum and urine may be useful for assessing progression of chf.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research