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Objective—To evaluate time-dependent alterations in gene expression of chemokines in bronchial epithelium of recurrent airway obstruction (RAO)-affected horses and whether alterations resulted from increases in gene expression of interleukin (IL)-17 in cells isolated from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF).

Animals—8 RAO-susceptible horses and 9 control horses.

Procedure—In 2 experiments, both groups of horses were evaluated after being maintained on pasture and after being stabled and fed dusty hay for 1, 14, 35, and 49 days (experiment 1) or 14 and 28 days (experiment 2). In experiment 1, gene expression of IL-8, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in epithelium and IL-8, IL-17, and TLR4 in BALF cells was measured. In experiment 2, bronchial biopsy specimens were evaluated for IL-8 immunoreactivity.

Results—In RAO-susceptible horses after 14 days of challenge exposure, there was a 3- and 10-fold increase in gene expression of IL-8 for epithelial and BALF cells and an increase in IL-8 immunoreactivity in epithelial cells. Challenge exposure failed to alter gene expression of CXCL1, GM-CSF, G-CSF, and TLR4 in epithelial cells of any horses at any time point. During challenge exposure, gene expression of BALF cell IL-17 was downregulated in control horses (day 1) and upregulated in RAO-affected horses (day 35).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Epithelial-derived IL-8 may promote airway neutrophilia, but the inciting stimulus is unlikely to be IL-17 because upregulation of this gene is subsequent to that of IL-8 in epithelial cells.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To investigate pseudohyperkalemia occurring in horses experiencing rhabdomyolysis when serum chemistry profiles are run on an VetScan VS2 analyzer (Abaxis).


18 horses with rhabdomyolysis (creatine kinase [CK] > 1,000 U/L).


In 3 horses with serum CK activities > 5,800 U/L and persistent serum potassium concentrations of > 8.5 mmol/L (VetScan VS2), potassium concentrations were reevaluated with either i-STAT Alinity Base Station (Abbott), Catalyst (Idexx), or Cobas c501 (Roche) ion-specific analyzers. Paired serum samples from 15 additional horses (median serum CK activity, 7,601 U/L; range, 1,134 to 192,447 U/L) were analyzed on both VetScan VS2 and Cobas c501 machines. Serum potassium concentrations were compared between the VetScan VS2 and ion-specific analyzers by Bland-Altman and Wilcoxon ranked tests and correlated to log10 CK activity via Pearson correlation.


Serum potassium concentrations were significantly higher on the VetScan VS2 (6.7 ± 1.6 mmol/L) versus the ion-specific analyzers (4.0 ± 1.1 mmol/L; P < .0001), with high bias shown in Bland-Altman analysis (43.1 ± 27.9). Potassium concentrations positively correlated with log10 CK activity with the VetScan VS2 (R 2 = 0.51; P = .003) but not the Cobas (R 2 = 0.09; P = .3) analyzer.


An alternate analyzer to the VetScan VS2 should be used to evaluate serum potassium concentrations in horses with rhabdomyolysis because the VetScan VS2 methodology uses lactate dehydrogenase, which increases in serum with rhabdomyolysis and falsely elevates potassium concentrations.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association