Objective—To compare daily endogenous cortisol production rate and the pharmacokinetics of an IV bolus of hydrocortisone between neonatal foals and adult horses.
Animals—10 healthy full-term 2- to 4-day-old foals and 7 healthy adult horses.
Procedures—Blood samples were collected from each horse every 15 to 20 minutes for 24 hours for determination of 24-hour mean cortisol concentration. Afterward, dexamethasone (0.08 mg/kg) was administered IV to suppress endogenous cortisol production. Twelve hours afterward, hydrocortisone sodium succinate (1.0 mg/kg) was administered as a rapid IV bolus and serial blood samples were collected to determine hydrocortisone pharmacokinetics. Cortisol concentrations, daily cortisol production rate, and hydrocortisone pharmacokinetics were determined, and results were compared between adult horses and foals.
Results—The mean ± SD 24-hour cortisol concentration was significantly lower in foals (20 ± 4 ng/mL) than in horses (26 ± 6 ng/mL), but the daily cortisol production rate was significantly greater in foals (6,710 ± 320 ng/kg/d) than in horses (2,140 ± 400 ng/kg/d). For hydrocortisone, foals had a significantly greater volume of distribution at steady state (1.92 ± 1.11 L/kg) and total body clearance (1.39 ± 0.108 L/kg/h) and significantly lower peak plasma concentration (1,051 ± 343 ng/mL) than did horses (0.58 ± 0.15 L/kg, 0.349 ± 0.065 L/kg/h, and 8,934 ± 3,843 ng/mL, respectively).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Important differences were detected in cortisol production and metabolism between neonatal foals and adult horses consistent with lower plasma protein binding of cortisol in foals. This decrease may contribute to cortisol insufficiency during prolonged critical illness in neonatal foals.
OBJECTIVE To compare tear cortisol concentrations between horses and ponies with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and healthy nonaged (≤ 15 years old) and aged (≥ 20 years old) horses and to determine whether serum and tear cortisol concentrations were correlated.
ANIMALS 11 horses and ponies with PPID and 20 healthy control horses and ponies (11 nonaged and 9 aged).
PROCEDURES Paired tear and serum samples were obtained from PPID and control animals. All animals were free of active ocular disease. Tear and serum cortisol concentrations were measured with an ELISA and chemiluminescent assay, respectively. Groups were compared with Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests, and Spearman correlation analysis was used to examine relationships between tear and serum cortisol concentrations within groups.
RESULTS Median tear cortisol concentration was significantly higher in PPID animals than in aged control animals, despite comparable serum cortisol concentrations in PPID and aged control animals. Median tear-to-serum cortisol concentration ratios were also significantly higher in PPID animals than in aged control animals. Serum and tear cortisol concentrations were not significantly correlated in PPID or control animals.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Some horses and ponies with PPID had increased tear cortisol concentrations, compared with concentrations in healthy aged animals. Localized cortisol production in the tear film or altered cortisol binding dynamics could have contributed to this increase. Further studies are warranted to evaluate these mechanisms and to determine whether increased tear cortisol concentrations are associated with delays in corneal wound healing in horses and ponies with and without PPID.
Objective—To determine which antimicrobials that
are used to treat neonatal foals with septicemia attributable
to Escherichia coli will minimize endotoxin
release from bacteria and subsequent activity of
inflammatory mediators while maintaining bactericidal
Sample Population—Blood samples from 10 healthy
Procedure—Escherichia coli isolates A and B were
isolated from 2 septicemic foals, and minimal
inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were determined for
9 antimicrobials. Five of these antimicrobials were
tested in vitro at 2 and 20 times their respective
MIC. Whole blood or mononuclear cells grown in tissue-
culture media were incubated with 105 colonyforming
units of E coli and each antimicrobial or
saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. After 6 hours, number
of viable bacteria remaining was determined, and
supernatant was tested for endotoxin and tumor
Results—Testing in whole blood was compromised
by bactericidal effects of the blood itself. In mononuclear
cell suspensions, each antimicrobial significantly
reduced the number of viable bacteria to low or undetectable
amounts. Antimicrobials did not differ significantly
in efficacy of bacterial killing. Amikacin used
alone or in combination with ampicillin resulted in significantly
less endotoxin activity than did ampicillin,
imipenem, or ceftiofur alone. There was a correlation
between TNF-α and endotoxin activity.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Aminoglycosides
appear less likely to induce endotoxemia
and TNF-α synthesis during bactericidal treatment of E
coli septicemia, compared with β-lactam antimicrobials.
Use of ampicillin, imipenem, or ceftiofur in the
treatment of septicemic neonatal foals should be
accompanied by appropriate treatment for endotoxemia.
(Am J Vet Res 2002;63:660–668)
Objective—To evaluate the effects of a standardized exercise test to exhaustion in horses on leukocyte function ex vivo.
Animals—6 Thoroughbred geldings.
Procedures—Blood samples were obtained from each horse before exercise; at exhaustion (termed failure); and at 2, 6, 24, 48, and 72 hours after exercise to evaluate hematologic changes, rate of leukocyte apoptosis, and leukocyte production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) ex vivo. To assess leukocyte function, leukocyte ROS production in response to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan, zymosan, and phorbol myristate acetate was evaluated. Apoptosis was evaluated via assessment of caspase activity in leukocyte lysates.
Results—In response to lipopolysaccharide, production of ROS by leukocytes was significantly increased at 2 hours and remained increased (albeit not significantly) at 6 hours after exercise, compared with the preexercise value. In the absence of any stimulus, leukocyte ROS production was significantly increased at 6 and 24 hours after exercise. In contrast, ROS production in response to phorbol myristate acetate was significantly decreased at 6, 24, and 72 hours after exercise. Leukocyte ROS production induced by zymosan or peptidoglycan was not altered by exercise. Leukocytosis was evident for 24 hours after exercise, and neutrophilia was detected during the first 6 hours. A significant increase in the rate of leukocyte apoptosis was detected at failure and 72 hours after exercise.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that strenuous exercise undertaken by horses causes alterations in innate immune system functions, some of which persist for as long as 72 hours after exercise.