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  • Author or Editor: Maureen K. Larson x
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To determine whether Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) ameliorates the effects of interleukin 1 (IL-1) on equine articular cartilage, or exerts negative effects on normal equine articular cartilage homeostasis in vitro.


Articular cartilage explants from 6 healthy femoropatellar joints of 3 adult horses.


Explants were allocated to the IL-1 challenged or unchallenged group, then exposed to 1 of 6 concentrations of BoNT-A (0, 1, 10, 50, 100, or 500 pg/mL) for 96 hours. To assess BoNT-A’s effects on inflammation, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was measured in media via ELISA. Matrix degradation was determined as the percentage of sulfated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) released from explants via dimethylmethylene blue assay. Aggrecan synthesis was estimated using CS846 ELISA and collagen type II degradation was estimated using C2C ELISA on media. Chondrocyte apoptosis was assessed via in-situ TUNEL assay. Generalized linear mixed models were fitted to determine treatment effects using α = 0.05.


The challenge with IL-1 resulted in increased concentrations of PGE2 and CS846 in media and increased release of sGAG from explants. BoNT-A did not significantly impact PGE2 or CS846 concentration in media, percentage of sGAG released, or chondrocyte apoptosis in IL-1 challenged or unchallenged cartilage explants. The concentration of C2C in media was below the quantifiable limit of the ELISA in all samples.


BoNT-A did not show chondroprotective effects or have negative effects on cartilage homeostasis in vitro at the concentrations tested. While chondroprotective effects were not observed, BoNT-A may be safe for intraarticular use. In vivo testing is warranted before clinical use.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To measure penetration efficiencies of low-level laser light energy through equine skin and to determine the fraction of laser energy absorbed by equine digital flexor tendons (superficial [SDFT] and deep [DDFT]).

SAMPLE Samples of skin, SDFTs, and DDFTs from 1 metacarpal area of each of 19 equine cadavers.

PROCEDURES A therapeutic laser with wavelength capabilities of 800 and 970 nm was used. The percentage of energy penetration for each wavelength was determined through skin before and after clipping and then shaving of hair, through shaved skin over SDFTs, and through shaved skin, SDFTs, and DDFTs (positioned in anatomically correct orientation). Influence of hair color; skin preparation, color, and thickness; and wavelength on energy penetration were assessed.

RESULTS For haired skin, energy penetration was greatest for light-colored hair and least for dark-colored hair. Clipping or shaving of skin improved energy penetration. Light-colored skin allowed greatest energy penetration, followed by medium-colored skin and dark-colored skin. Greatest penetration of light-colored skin occurred with the 800-nm wavelength, whereas greatest penetration of medium- and dark-colored skin occurred with the 970-nm wavelength. As skin thickness increased, energy penetration of samples decreased. Only 1% to 20% and 0.1% to 4% of energy were absorbed by SDFTs and DDFTs, respectively, depending on skin color, skin thickness, and applied wavelength.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that most laser energy directed through equine skin was absorbed or scattered by the skin. To achieve delivery of energy doses known to positively affect cells in vitro to equine SDFTs and DDFTs, skin preparation, color, and thickness and applied wavelength must be considered.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate 2 processing methods (commercial kit vs conical tube centrifugation) for preparing platelet rich plasma (PRP) for use in llamas and alpacas.

SAMPLES Blood samples (30 mL each) aseptically collected from 6 healthy llamas and 6 healthy alpacas.

PROCEDURES PRP was prepared from blood samples by use of a commercial kit and by double-step conical tube centrifugation. A CBC was performed for blood and PRP samples. Platelets in PRP samples were activated by means of a freeze-thaw method with or without 23mM CaCl2, and concentrations of platelet-derived growth factor-BB and transforming growth factor-β1 were measured. Values were compared between processing methods and camelid species.

RESULTS Blood CBC values for llamas and alpacas were similar. The commercial kit yielded a significantly greater degree of platelet enrichment (mean increase, 8.5 fold vs 2.8 fold) and WBC enrichment (mean increase, 3.7 fold vs 1.9 fold) than did conical tube centrifugation. Llamas had a significantly greater degree of platelet enrichment than alpacas by either processing method. No difference in WBC enrichment was identified between species. Concentrations of both growth factors were significantly greater in PRP samples obtained by use of the commercial kit versus those obtained by conical tube centrifugation.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE For blood samples from camelids, the commercial kit yielded a PRP product with a higher platelet and WBC concentration than achieved by conical tube centrifugation. Optimal PRP platelet and WBC concentrations for various applications need to be determined for llamas and alpacas.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research