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  • Author or Editor: Tonia L. Peters x
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Objective—To determine the effects of orally administered glucosamine on concentrations of markers of bone and cartilage metabolism in Standardbred horses during race training.

Animals—Twenty 16- to 20-month-old Standardbreds beginning race training.

Procedure—Horses were randomly assigned to 2 groups. One group received glucosamine hydrochloride (4 g, PO, q 12 h), and the second (control) group received glucose (4 g, PO, q 12 h). Serum samples were obtained prior to onset of the study (baseline) and at regular intervals for 48 weeks for determination of concentrations of keratan sulfate (KS), osteocalcin (OC), and pyridinoline crosslinks (PYD).

Results—Osteocalcin concentrations changed significantly with time; mean serum concentrations were significantly higher than baseline values for samples obtained at 24 to 48 weeks after onset of the study. Although a significant effect of time was observed for mean concentration of KS, concentrations did not differ significantly from baseline values at any time during the study when groups were analyzed separately. However, pooled analysis revealed significant increases of mean serum KS concentration at weeks 24 and 30. Significant changes in serum PYD concentrations were not detected. Oral administration of glucosamine did not significantly affect serum concentrations of any of the markers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased serum OC in clinically normal Standardbreds during race training may reflect bone formation that accompanies adaptive remodeling of the appendicular skeleton. For these experimental conditions, glucosamine did not appear to exert a detectable influence on serum concentrations of these 3 markers of connective tissue metabolism. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1106–1110)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare the inhibitory effects of glucosamine and mannosamine on articular cartilage degradation and the effects on chondrocyte viability in vitro.

Sample Population—Bovine articular cartilage explants.

Procedures—Explants were cultured in commercial medium for 48 hours. Cartilage was exposed to medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum, 10 µg of lipopolysaccharide/mL, and 0.5, 1.0, 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 mg of glucosamine or mannosamine/mL for 24 hours. Nitric oxide (NO) production (nitrite concentration) and proteoglycan (PG) release (PG concentration) in media were measured . Cartilage extracts were analyzed via zymography to detect gelatinolytic activity. At the end of the experiment, explants were assessed for chondrocyte viability.

Results—Addition of lipopolysaccharide resulted in increased NO production and PG release, but no increase in gelatinolytic activity, compared with controls. Glucosamine and mannosamine at concentrations as low as 0.5 mg/mL inhibited NO production. Glucosamine inhibited PG release at a minimum concentration of 1.0 mg/mL, whereas mannosamine inhibited PG release at a concentration of 0.5 mg/mL. Concentrations of glucosamine ≤ 5.0 mg/mL did not adversely affect chondrocyte viability; however, at a concentration of 10.0 mg/mL, cell death was evident. Mannosamine had a toxic effect at a concentration of 5.0 mg/mL and was associated with pronounced chondrocyte death at a concentration of 10.0 mg/mL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Glucosamine and mannosamine inhibit selected indices of bovine articular cartilage degradation at concentrations that do not affect chondrocyte viability. The potential for cytotoxic effects at higher concentrations underscores the importance of establishing appropriate dosage regimens for these aminomonosaccharides. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1440–1445)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research