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Objective—To develop a flow cytometric assay to quantify platelet-derived microparticles (PMPs) in equine whole blood and plasma.

Sample—Citrate-anticoagulated whole blood from 30 healthy adult horses.

Procedures—Platelet-poor plasma (PPP) was prepared from fresh whole blood by sequential low-speed centrifugation (twice at 2,500 × g). Samples of fresh whole blood and PPP were removed and stored at 4° and 24°C for 24 hours. Platelet-derived microparticles were characterized in fresh and stored samples on the basis of the forward scatter threshold (log forward scatter < 101) and labeling with annexin V (indicating externalized phosphatidylserine) and CD61 (a constitutive platelet receptor). A fluorescent bead–calibrated flow cytometric assay was used to determine microparticle counts. Platelet counts, prothrombin time, and activated partial thromboplastin time were measured in fresh samples.

Results—Significantly more PMPs were detected in fresh whole blood (median, 3,062 PMPs/μL; range, 954 to 13,531 PMPs/μL) than in fresh PPP (median, 247 PMPs/μL; range, 104 to 918 PMPs/μL). Storage at either temperature had no significant effect on PMP counts for whole blood or PPP. No significant correlation was observed between PMP counts and platelet counts in fresh whole blood or PPP or between PMP counts and clotting times in fresh PPP.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the described PMP protocol can be readily used to quantify PMPs in equine blood and plasma via flow cytometry. Quantification can be performed in fresh PPP or whole blood or samples stored refrigerated or at room temperature for 24 hours.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effects of diet-induced weight gain on glucose and insulin dynamics and plasma hormone and lipid concentrations in horses.

Animals—13 adult geldings.

Procedures—Horses were fed 200% of their digestible energy requirements for maintenance for 16 weeks to induce weight gain. Frequently sampled IV glucose tolerance tests were performed before and after weight gain to evaluate glucose and insulin dynamics. Adiposity (assessed via condition scoring, morphometric measurements, and subcutaneous fat depth) and plasma concentrations of insulin, glucose, nonesterified fatty acids, triglycerides, and leptin were measured on a weekly or biweekly basis.

Results—Mean ± SD body weight increased by 20% from 440 ± 44 kg to 526 ± 53 kg, and body condition score (scale, 1 to 9) increased from 6 ± 1to8 ± 1. Plasma glucose, triglyceride, and nonesterified fatty acid concentrations were similar before and after weight gain. Leptin and insulin concentrations increased with weight gain. Mean ± SD insulin sensitivity decreased by 71 ± 28%, accompanied by a 408 ± 201% increase in acute insulin response to glucose, which resulted in similar disposition index before and after weight gain.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diet-induced weight gain in horses occurred concurrently with decreased insulin sensitivity that was effectively compensated for by an increase in insulin secretory response. Obesity resulted in hyperinsulinemia and hyperleptinemia, compared with baseline values, but no changes in lipid concentrations were apparent. Preventing obesity is a potential strategy to help avoid insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperleptinemia in horses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research