Abstract

Endocrinopathic laminitis (EL) is a vascular condition of the equine hoof resulting in severe lameness with both welfare and economic implications. EL occurs in association with equine metabolic syndrome and equine Cushing's disease. Vascular dysfunction, most commonly due to endothelial dysfunction, is associated with cardiovascular risk in people with metabolic syndrome and Cushing's syndrome. We tested the hypothesis that horses with EL have vascular, specifically endothelial, dysfunction. Healthy horses (n = 6) and horses with EL (n = 6) destined for euthanasia were recruited. We studied vessels from the hooves (laminar artery, laminar vein) and the facial skin (facial skin arteries) by small vessel wire myography. The response to vasoconstrictors phenylephrine (10-9-10-5M) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT; 10-9-10-5M) and the vasodilator acetylcholine (10-9-10-5M) was determined. In comparison with healthy controls, acetylcholine-induced relaxation was dramatically reduced in all intact vessels from horses with EL (% relaxation of healthy laminar arteries 323.5 ± 94.1% v EL 90.8 ± 4.4%, P = 0.01, laminar veins 129.4 ± 14.8% v EL 71.2 ± 4.1%, P = 0.005 and facial skin arteries 182.0 ± 40.7% v EL 91.4 ± 4.5%, P = 0.01). In addition, contractile responses to phenylephrine and 5HT were increased in intact laminar veins from horses with EL compared with healthy horses; these differences were endothelium-independent. Sensitivity to phenylephrine was reduced in intact laminar arteries (P = 0.006) and veins (P = 0.009) from horses with EL. Horses with EL exhibit significant vascular dysfunction in laminar vessels and in facial skin arteries. The systemic nature of the abnormalities suggest this dysfunction is associated with the underlying endocrinopathy and not local changes to the hoof.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0163815
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2016

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