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Conference abstract, 2004

Markers of Inflammation in Horses with Recurrent Airway Obstruction

Riihimäki, Miia


Horses in temperate climates are commonly afflicted with an“asthma like disease” called recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) when housed indoors. Airway alterations in asthma have many comparative similarities to the recurrent airway inflammation and obstruction syndromes of the horse. Understanding aethiopathogenesis of RAO has been the focus of extensive research in equine medicine for several years. Techniques to investigate this clinical problem are mainly pulmonary function testing and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Unfortunately these techniques provide only a partial, incomplete picture of the disease process ongoing in the airways. Recent biotechnological advances on use bronchial biopsy of airway epithelium in asthma human patients have provided valued insight into tissue inflammatory mechanisms. We are currently working with several cytokines in BAL and endobronchial biopsies from affected horses with RT-PCR technique, trying to answer following question: Does these horses show signs of Th-1 or Th2-type cytokine profile? This finding might have potential implications in therapeutic options (a Th-2 type cytokine profile would support an allergic response in RAO). We are also working with endobronchial biopsies techniques using glycol methacrylate (GMA) resin embedding for immunohistochemistry to gain insight into underlying disease mechanisms of recurrent airway inflammation in the horse. Hopefully by understanding aetiology and pathogenesis of RAO we can develop new therapeutic and preventive methods. PCR and immunohistochemistry can hopefully in future be used, in addition to research, also in clinics for diagnosis, evaluation for disease state, and for prognosis. Major funding for this project was through grants from the Swedish Horse Racing Totalizator Board (ATG), with partial support from AGRIA animal insurance

Published in

Publisher: AII, the research programme in allergy, immunology and inlammation at KI


Immunological Forum for PhD students- interactive and innovative, Karolinska institutet Stockholm

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences

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