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  • Author or Editor: Maria Kritsepi-Konstantinou x
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OBJECTIVE To determine the effect of subchronic oral exposure to zearalenone (ZEA) at a daily dose of 50 μg of ZEA/kg of body weight (an environmentally relevant concentration) on the reproductive system of rabbit bucks.

ANIMALS 8 healthy sexually mature New Zealand White rabbits.

PROCEDURES During the experimental period (March to June), each rabbit underwent a 7-week control protocol and then a 7-week treatment protocol. Water (0.5 mL) or ZEA solution (50 μg/kg [0.5 mL]) was administered orally once daily during the control and treatment period, respectively; ejaculates were collected weekly. Studied end points included semen quality variables (spermatozoa kinetics, morphology, viability, and DNA fragmentation), serum testosterone concentration, and results of histologic examination of the testes and epididymides following euthanasia at the end of the experimental period.

RESULTS Treatment with ZEA solution resulted in significant increases in spermatozoa beat-cross frequency, in the percentages of spermatozoa with head and midpiece abnormalities, and in the percentages of DNA-fragmented spermatozoa, compared with effects of the control treatment. Serum testosterone concentration, other spermatozoa velocity variables, and percentages of progressive and total motility, rapidly or slowly moving spermatozoa, and live spermatozoa did not differ significantly between the 2 periods. Histologic examination revealed no patterns of abnormal findings in the testes and epididymides.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Oral treatment with ZEA solution at an enviromentally relevant concentration caused minor interference with rabbit bucks' sperm quality. Although mostly considered mild, the sperm quality changes warrant further investigation in terms of fertilizing capacity impairment.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To establish reference intervals for serum reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs), biological antioxidant potential (BAP), and oxidative stress index (OSi) in adult rams by use of controlled preanalytic and analytic procedures.

ANIMALS 123 healthy 1- to 4-year-old rams of 2 Greek breeds (Chios [n = 62] and Florina [61]).

PROCEDURES 4 hours after rams were fed, a blood sample was obtained from each ram, and serum was harvested. Concentrations of ROMs and BAP were measured colorimetrically on a spectrophotometric analyzer. The OSi was calculated as ROMs concentration divided by BAP concentration. Combined and breed-specific reference intervals were calculated by use of nonparametric and robust methods, respectively. Reference intervals were defined as the 2.5th to 97.5th percentiles.

RESULTS Reference intervals for ROMs, BAP, and OSi for all rams combined were 65 to 109 Carratelli units, 2,364 to 4,491 μmol/L, and 18.2 to 43.0 Carratelli units/(mmol/L), respectively. Reference intervals of Chios rams for ROMs, BAP, and OSi were 56 to 113 Carratelli units, 2,234 to 4,290 μmol/L, and 12.9 to 38.4 Carratelli units/(mmol/L), respectively. Reference intervals of Florina rams for ROMs, BAP, and OSi were 68 to 111 Carratelli units, 2,337 to 4,363 μmol/L, and 14.1 to 38.1 Carratelli units/(mmol/L), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Reference intervals calculated in this study can be used as a guide for the interpretation of ROMs, BAP, and OSi results in rams and, under appropriate conditions, can be adopted for use by veterinary laboratories.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine whether differences existed in the viscoelastic properties of synovial fluid samples from the metacarpophalangeal, intercarpal, and distal interphalangeal joints of orthopedically normal athletic horses.


45 warmblood horses and 30 Thoroughbreds (age range, 4 to 16 years).


Synovial fluid samples were aseptically obtained via arthrocentesis from 1 metacarpophalangeal, intercarpal, and distal interphalangeal joint of each horse, and nucleated cell counts were performed. A commercial ELISA was used to measure sample hyaluronic acid concentrations, and full rheological characterization of samples was performed to measure the elastic or storage modulus G' and viscous or loss modulus G“ at 37.5°C (representing the body temperature of horses). Findings were compared among joints and between breed groups by means of ANOVA.


Significant differences in synovial fluid G' and G“ values were identified between Thoroughbreds and warmblood horses for the metacarpophalangeal joint, between the metacarpophalangeal and intercarpal joints of Thoroughbreds, and between the metacarpophalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints and intercarpal and distal interphalangeal joints of warmblood horses. No significant differences were identified between breed groups or among joints in synovial fluid hyaluronic concentrations or nucleated cell counts.


Viscoelastic properties of the forelimb joints of orthopedically normal Thoroughbreds and warmblood horses differed within and between these 2 groups, mainly as a function of the evaluated joint. To the authors' knowledge, this was the first study of its kind, and additional research is warranted to better understand the viscoelastic properties of synovial fluid in horses to optimize their locomotive function.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research