Objective—To identify changes over time in relative expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and -9 (MMP-9) in synovial fluid from healthy calves and calves with experimentally induced septic arthritis.
Animals—12 Holstein calves.
Procedures—In 7 calves, Escherichia coli was injected in the right tarsal joint on day 1. Joint lavage was performed on day 2, and calves were treated with ceftiofur from days 2 through 21. Synovial fluid samples were collected on days 1 (before inoculation), 2 (before joint lavage), 3, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24. In the remaining 5 calves, joint lavage was performed on day 2 and synovial fluid samples were collected from the left tarsal joint. Relative expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 was determined by means of gel zymography.
Results—On day 1, MMP-2 was detected in all synovial fluid samples but MMP-9 was not detected. In calves with septic arthritis, values for relative expression of MMP-9 monomer and dimer were significantly increased on days 2 through 20 and days 2 through 24, respectively, and relative expression of MMP-2 was significantly increased on days 3 through 20. There were significant linear associations between relative expression of the monomer and dimer forms of MMP-9 and between neutrophil count and relative expression of the MMP-9 monomer and dimer forms.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that relative expression of MMP-9 and MMP-2 increased in synovial fluid from calves with experimentally induced septic arthritis, with relative expression remaining high for several days after infection.