Objective—To determine the mRNA expression of
bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-6 and -2 and a BMP
antagonist (Noggin) in horses with osteochondrosis.
Sample Population—Samples of articular cartilage
from affected stifle or shoulder joints of 10 immature
horses with naturally acquired osteochondrosis and
corresponding joints of 9 clinically normal horses of
similar age; additionally, samples of distal femoral
growth plate cartilage and distal femoral articular cartilage
were obtained from a normal equine fetus.
Procedure—Cartilage specimens were snap-frozen in
liquid nitrogen, and total RNA was isolated. Adjacent
specimens were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for
histologic examination. Expression of BMP-6, BMP-2,
and Noggin mRNA was evaluated by real-time quantitative
polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Spatial
tissue mRNA expression of BMP-6 was determined
by in situ hybridization.
Results—Nucleotide sequences were obtained for
portions of the BMP-6 propeptide and mature peptide
region, as well as the signal and mature peptide region
of Noggin. Expression of BMP-6, BMP-2, and Noggin
mRNA was found to be similar in cartilage from normal
and osteochondrosis-affected horses. Spatial expression
of BMP-6 correlated with the middle and deep layers
of articular cartilage; no differences were observed
in overall expression between cartilage specimens
from the 2 groups of horses. No expression of BMP-6
was found in the superficial layer, subchondral bone, or
osteochondrosis-affected cleft fibrous tissue.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although these
signaling peptides may play important roles in cartilage
differentiation, results did not provide evidence to suggest
that they are involved in the disease process of
osteochondrosis. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:110–115)
Objective—To determine owner impressions of 3 premium
canine diets when factors such as price and retail
source were removed; to compare body condition
scores (BCSs) assigned by owners versus a veterinarian;
and to determine consistency of owner impressions of
diets when owners were not informed that they were
feeding the same diet during 2 consecutive periods.
Design—Randomized controlled trial.
Animals—44 healthy adult dogs.
Procedure—During the initial 12 months of the study,
dogs were each fed 3 premium diets for 4 months in
random order. After feeding each diet for 1 and 4
months, owners completed questionnaires regarding
palatability of the diet; the dog's attitude, energy level,
fecal consistency, frequency of defecation, hair coat
quality, and BCS; and whether they would feed the
diet if available commercially. During the last 4
months of the study, owners fed the same diet they
had been feeding during the previous 4 months.
Results—Scores for most variables did not differ
among diets. However, mean BCS assigned by owners
was significantly lower than mean BCS assigned
by an investigator, with a moderate correlation
between scores. When asked at the end of the third
and fourth study periods whether they would consider
feeding the diet long-term, 12 of the 44 (27%) owners
gave inconsistent responses.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate
that when unaware of retail price and source,
owners have similar impressions of 3 premium diets
fed to healthy adult dogs, suggesting that factors
other than the diets themselves may affect owner
impressions. Owners also underestimate their dog's
BCS. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1931–1936)