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  • Author or Editor: Jin-Wen Chen x
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Objective—To evaluate whether urine supernatant contains amplifiable DNA and to determine factors that influence genotyping of samples from racehorses after storage and transportation.

Sample Population—580 urine, 279 whole blood, and 40 plasma samples obtained from 261 Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds.

Procedures—Genomic DNA was isolated from stored blood and urine samples collected from racehorses after competition. Quantified DNA was evaluated to determine whether 5 equine microsatellite loci (VHL20, HTG4, AHT4, HMS6, and HMS7) could be amplified by use of PCR techniques. Fragment size of each amplified locus was determined by use of capillary electrophoresis.

Results—High–molecular-weight and amplifiable DNA were recovered from refrigerated blood samples, but recovery from urine varied. Deoxyribonucleic acid was recovered from both urine supernatant and sediment. Freeze-thaw cycles of urine caused accumulation of amplifiable DNA in the supernatant and clearance of naked DNA. Repeated freeze-thaw cycles significantly decreased DNA yield and induced DNA degradation, which resulted in failure to detect microsatellite loci. Select drugs detected in test samples did not affect PCR amplification. Contaminants in DNA isolates inhibited PCR amplification and resulted in partial microsatellite profiles.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Properly stored urine and blood samples were successfully genotyped, but subjecting urine to freeze-thaw cycles was most detrimental to the integrity of DNA. Increasing the volume of urine used improved recovery of DNA.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate plasma interleukin 6 (IL-6) concentration in Standardbred racehorses by means of a novel ELISA following validation of the assay for use with equine plasma samples.

SAMPLE Plasma samples obtained from 25 Thoroughbreds for use in assay validation and from 319 Standardbred racehorses at rest 2 to 2.5 hours prior to warm-up and racing.

PROCEDURES A sandwich ELISA was developed with equine anti–IL-6 polyclonal antibody and the biotin-streptavidin chemical interaction to enhance sensitivity. The assay was validated for specificity, sensitivity, precision, and accuracy by use of both recombinant and endogenous proteins.

RESULTS For the assay, cross-reactivity with other human and equine cytokines was very low or absent. Serial dilution of plasma samples resulted in proportional decreases in reactivity, indicating high specificity of the method. Partial replacement of detection antibody with capture antibody or pretreatment of samples with capture antibody caused assay signals to significantly decrease by 55%. The inter- and intra-assay precisions were ≤ 13.6% and ≤ 9.3%, respectively; inter- and intra-assay accuracies were within ranges of ± 14.1% and ± 8.6%, respectively, at concentrations from 78 to 5,000 pg/mL, and the sensitivity was 18 pg/mL. Plasma IL-6 concentration varied widely among the 319 Standardbreds at rest (range, 0 to 193,630 pg/mL; mean, 6,153 pg/mL; median, 376 pg/mL).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This ELISA method proved suitable for quantification of IL-6 concentration in equine plasma samples. Plasma IL-6 concentration was high (> 10,000 pg/mL) in 9.1% of the Standardbred racehorses, which warrants further investigation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research