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  • Author or Editor: Zachary M. Vaupel x
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Objective—To determine the effects of oxytetracycline on matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) mRNA expression and collagen gel contraction by equine myofibroblasts in an effort to explain the mechanistic basis for the pharmacologic treatment of flexural deformities in foals.

Sample Population—Cultured myofibroblasts from the accessory ligament (distal check ligament) of 6 foals.

Procedure—Collagen gel scaffolds seeded with equine myofibroblasts were cultured in individual culture dishes containing complete media (Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium with 10% fetal bovine serum) and oxytetracycline (0, 12.5, 25, or 75 µg/mL) for 48 hours. After 24 hours, the gels were released from the bottom of the culture plate and allowed to contract. Photographs were taken at 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 24 hours after release to assess the degree of collagen gel contraction. Additional gels were harvested at 2 hours after release for RNA isolation and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assessment of the degree of MMP-1 mRNA expression.

Results—Oxytetracycline induced a dose-dependent inhibition of collagen gel contraction by equine myofibroblasts. Oxytetracycline also induced a dose-dependent decrease in MMP-1 mRNA expression by equine myofibroblasts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicate that oxytetracycline inhibits tractional structuring of collagen fibrils by equine myofibroblasts through an MMP-1 mediated mechanism. In young foals, oxytetracycline administration may make the developing ligaments and tendons more susceptible to elongation during normal weight-bearing. Inhibition of normal collagen organization may provide the mechanistic explanation for the results seen following the pharmacologic treatment of flexural deformities in foals by oxytetracycline administration. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:491–496)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research