Researchers have found that a particular protein found in the intestine is upregulated in chronic cases of laminitis, strengthening that case that chronic inflammation of the laminae in the hoof might be associated with changes in the endocrine and immune systems.
Texas A&M University researchers Samantha Steelman and Bhanu Chowdhary, writing in the journal BMC Veterinary Research, used Difference Gel Electrophoresis (DIGE) to assess global differences in the plasma proteome between horses with chronic laminitis and controls.
DIGE is a gel‐based technique for relative protein quantification in complex protein samples.
They found that a number of proteins involved in immune regulation were differentially expressed in horses with chronic equine laminitis.
In particular, the anti-inflammatory protein APOA-IV was elevated around two-fold in foundered horses.
APOA-IV is produced by the small intestine, particularly in response to the ingestion of triglycerides.
In this way, it functions to tell the animal when its appetite has been satisfied, but is also known to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
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