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  • Author or Editor: Stina Ekman x
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Objective—To evaluate the use of CT and MRI for guidance of osteochondral sample collection for histologic detection of early osteoarthritic lesions in centrodistal (distal intertarsal) joints of horses.

Sample —Right tarsal joints from the cadavers of 24 Icelandic horses aged 29 to 31 months.

Procedures—CT and MRI were used to evaluate the extent of suspected osteoarthritic changes in centrodistal joints, which were graded with a semiquantitative system. The anatomic regions with the highest grade of change were identified, and osteochondral samples were obtained from these regions. Samples were also obtained from the same centrodistal joints at predetermined sites. Histologic examination of all samples was performed, with samples classified as negative or positive for osteoarthritis, and results were compared between sample collection methods.

Results—Histologic examination revealed osteoarthritic lesions in 29% (7/24) of centrodistal joints with the predetermined method and in 63% (15/24) with the image-guided method. Significant associations were identified between histologic osteoarthritis detection and the summed image-guided sample collection site image grades, central osteophytes, articular cartilage thickness abnormalities, grade 2 articular mineralization front defects, and grade 2 marginal osteophytes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CT and MRI aided the detection of focal changes suggestive of early-stage osteoarthritis in the centrodistal joints of equine cadavers and may be useful for detection of similar disease in live horses. The first morphological changes of centrodistal joint osteoarthritis were suspected to be in the articular cartilage and the articular mineralization front regions.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effects of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β stimulation on expression of growth differentiation factor (GDF)-5 and Wnt signaling pathway genes in equine chondrocytes.

Sample—Macroscopically normal articular cartilage samples from 6 horses and osteochondral fragments (OCFs) from 3 horses.

Procedures—Chondrocyte pellets were prepared and cultured without stimulation or following stimulation with IL-6 or IL-1β for 1, 2, 12, and 48 hours; expression of GDF-5 was determined with a quantitative real-time PCR assay. Expression of genes in various signaling pathways was determined with microarrays for pellets stimulated for 1 and 2 hours. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to detect GDF-5, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β), and β-catenin proteins in macroscopically normal cartilage samples and OCFs.

Results—Chondrocytes stimulated with IL-6 had significantly higher GDF-5 expression within 2 hours versus unstimulated chondrocytes. Microarray analysis of Wnt signaling pathway genes indicated expression of GSK-3β and coiled-coil domain containing 88C increased after 1 hour and expression of β-catenin decreased after 2 hours of IL-6 stimulation. Results of immunohistochemical detection of proteins were similar to microarray analysis results. Chondrocytes in macroscopically normal articular cartilage and OCFs had immunostaining for GDF-5.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated IL-6 stimulation decreased chondrocyte expression of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway transactivator β-catenin, induced expression of inhibitors of the Wnt pathway, and increased expression of GDF-5. This suggested IL-6 may inhibit the Wnt signaling pathway with subsequent upregulation of GDF-5 expression. Anabolic extracellular matrix metabolism in OCFs may be attributable to GDF-5 expression. This information could be useful for development of cartilage repair methods.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research