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To assess effects of vaccination against fescue toxicosis on weight gain, serum prolactin and cholesterol concentrations, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in mice fed an endophyte-infected (EI) or endophyte-free (EF) fescue diet.


50 six-week-old male BALB/c mice.


Mice were randomly allocated to the following 5 groups: 1, vaccinated intraperitoneally with a bovine serum albumin-ergotamine (EG) conjugate and fed an EI fescue diet; 2, orally vaccinated with cholera toxin (CT) subunit B-EG conjugate mixed with free CT and fed an EI fescue diet; 3, not vaccinated and fed an EI fescue diet; 4, passively vaccinated with monoclonal antibodies specific for ergovaline (EV) and fed an EI fescue diet; and 5, not vaccinated and fed an EF fescue diet.


Antibodies against EG and EV were in serum of mice of groups 1 and 4, respectively. Secretory IgA and IgG coproantibodies against EG were induced in mice of group 2. Weight increased in groups 1 and 2 and tended to be increased in group 4 versus group 3. Prolactin concentration was similar in all groups; cholesterol concentration was decreased in groups 1, 3, and 4, compared with group 5. Compared with that in group 5, serum ALP activity decreased in groups 1 and 4 and was further decreased in group 1, compared with that in groups 2 and 3; it was negatively correlated with anti-EG titer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Induction of anti-EG antibodies and administration of EV monoclonal antibodies tended to increase short-term weight gain in this murine model of fescue toxicosis. However, systemic IgG antibodies against EG or EV antibodies were not protective against decreases in serum ALP activity and cholesterol concentrations. Clinical significance of decreased ALP activity associated with vaccination is unknown, but represents a worsening of a response often associated with fescue toxicosis in cattle. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1258–1262)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


The effects of exogenous platelet-activating factor (paf) were determined in anesthetized ponies. Administration of paf induced a decrease in cardiac index that resulted in systemic hypotension. This was followed by tachycardia, hypertension, and a return of cardiac index to baseline. Pulmonary aterial pressure increased markedly because of pulmonary vasoconstriction. Exogenous paf also caused leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. The specific PAP receptor antagonist (WEB 2086) blocked all paf-induced changes. Flunixin meglumine, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, abolished the pulmonary hypertension and tachycardia, and attenuated the systemic hypotension but did not change the paf-induced peripheral cellular changes. The paf antagonist also inhibited platelet aggregation induced by paf in vitro. The paf-induced changes are similar to those reported after endotoxin exposure in horses.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effects of a dose of caffeine (2.5 mg/kg, IV) administered to physically fit Thoroughbreds during incremental exercise testing to fatigue on a treadmill.

Animals—10 conditioned Thoroughbreds.

Procedure—Horses were randomly assigned to receive caffeine or a control solution. Each horse received both treatments in a crossover design with a 3-week interval between treatments. Each horse was administered caffeine (2.5 mg/kg) or an equivalent amount of a control solution IV. One hour after injection, each horse performed an incremental exercise test to exhaustion. Hematologic values, heart rate, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, plasma lactate concentration, urine and serum concentrations of caffeine and metabolites, and time until exhaustion were monitored. Statistical analysis was performed by use of a mixed-effects linear model.

Results—Significant differences in measured values when horses were treated with caffeine or the control solution were not detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A dose of caffeine (2.5 mg/kg, IV) appears to have no effect on any performance variable of physically fit Thoroughbreds during incremental exercise testing to fatigue. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:569–573)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research