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Serum Complement Activity During the Developmental Phase of Equine Laminitis

Study Results: Student Identifies New Avenues to Study Laminitis Prevention

Laminitis is a crippling disease of the equine hoof that causes intense and severe pain when horses put all of their weight on the affected leg. Despite continuing research, the exact mechanisms that lead to laminitis remain a mystery. By studying previously archived serum samples, the student identified two new avenues for studying prevention and early detection of laminitis. There was a very rapid increase in serum amyloid A (SAA), a blood protein seen during an inflammatory event, in the initial hours of laminitis development. Production of SAA within the hoof during laminitis development has been previously reported, indicating that SAA may be a sensitive indicator of inflammation and response to treatment. If this form of the protein could be differentiated from that produced elsewhere in the horse’s body, early damage might be detected. The ability to accurately monitor the hoof during septic shock has not been available previously, and laminitis is currently detectable only after irreversible damage has occurred. The results of this study suggest that there is a change in complement activity during laminitis development, but further research is needed to elucidate the role of complement in laminitis development and sepsis. If complement is found to be significant, activated treatments that would prevent excessive activity may help prevent laminitis.

Karen B. Kerr, University of Queensland

Posted by MAFon January 7, 2011.

Categories: Horse diseases, Horse health, Veterinary students


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Submitted by horsegal1966 at: March 21, 2011
Very interesting. It would be wonderful to never have to see a horse in pain from this ailment again. The best thing we can do now is prevention. Thanks for an interesting read. Horsegal1966