Thromboxane and isoprostanes as inflammatory and vasoactive mediators in black walnut heartwood extract induced equine laminitis

Erik Noschka, James N. Moore, John F. Peroni, Stephen J. Lewis, Jason D. Morrow, Tom P. Robertson

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Inflammation and vascular dysfunction occur concurrently during the prodromal stages of equine laminitis. The aim of this study was to provide insights into the role that thromboxane and isoprostanes may play in the development of black walnut heartwood extract (BWHE)-induced laminitis. Horses were divided into two groups, either control or BWHE-administered horses. Plasma concentrations of thromboxane increased transiently after administration of BWHE and coincided with the nadir in white blood cell counts, whereas plasma concentrations of iso-prostaglandin PGF (iso-PGF) did not change in either group. At 12 h (for the control group) or Obel grade 1 laminitis (for the BWHE group) the horses were euthanized and laminar tissue collected. Laminar arteries and veins were used in functional studies with vasoconstrictor substances and tissue samples were used for the determination of laminar iso-PGF concentrations. Laminar tissue concentrations of iso-PGF were significantly greater in BWHE horses when compared to control horses. In parallel studies concentrations of iso-PGF in laminar tissue samples obtained 1.5 and 3 h after administration of BWHE were indistinguishable from those for control horses at 3 or 12 h after administration of an equal volume of water. Laminar vessel constrictor responses to either a thromboxane mimetic (U46619), iso-prostaglandin PGE2 (iso-PGE2) or iso-PGF were determined using small vessel myographs. In some vessels, the effects of putative prostanoid and thromboxane receptor antagonists, SQ 29,548, SC-19220 and AH 6809, upon contractile responses were determined. In control horses, U46619, iso-PGF and iso-PGE2 more potently and efficaciously constricted laminar veins when compared to laminar arteries. Responses of laminar veins from BWHE horses to iso-PGE2 were similar to those of laminar veins from control horses, whereas iso-PGF elicited significantly greater responses in laminar veins from BWHE horses when compared to controls. In contrast, responses to U46619 were smaller in laminar veins isolated from BWHE horses when compared to those in laminar veins from control horses. In the presence of SQ 29,548, iso-PGF elicited a small dilation in laminar veins from control horses, which was not apparent in laminar veins from BWHE horses. These results are consistent with both systemic and local inflammatory events occurring during the prodromal stages of BWHE-induced laminitis. Because laminar veins are sensitive to thromboxane and isoprostanes, these substances may act as conduits between the inflammatory and vascular events occurring in laminitis and may be therapeutic targets for this crippling condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 15 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arteries
  • Equine laminar veins
  • Isoprostanes
  • Laminitis
  • Prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)

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