Influence of an intra-articular lipopolysaccharide challenge on markers of inflammation and cartilage metabolism in young horses. Academic Article uri icon


  • Nineteen weanling Quarter Horses (225 to 380 kg) were used in a randomized complete block design to investigate the effects of intra-articular lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce acute joint inflammation in young horses. Horses were blocked by age, BW, and sex and were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments for a 35-d experiment. Treatments included intra-articular injection of 0.25 ng (n = 7) or 0.50 ng (n = 6) of LPS obtained from Escherichia coli O55:B5 or sterile lactated Ringer's solution (n = 6; control) into the radial carpal joint. Synovial fluid was obtained at preinjection h 0 and 2, 6, 12, 24, 168, and 336 h postinjection and was analyzed for PGE2, carboxypeptide of type II collagen (CPII), and collagenase cleavage neopeptide (C2C) biomarkers via commercial ELISA kits. Rectal temperature (RT), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), and carpal circumference were recorded before each sample. Lameness scores on a 0 to 5 scale were conducted after arthrocentesis. Data were analyzed using PROC MIXED procedure of SAS. Linear and cubic effects were tested in the form of contrasts. Clinical assessment of HR, RR, and RT were not influenced by treatment (P 0.16). All horses exhibited increased lameness scores over time (P 0.01), and horses receiving LPS, regardless of dose, had greater recorded lameness scores at 12 and 24 h postinjection (P 0.05). Joint circumference increased (P 0.01) across treatments in response to repeated arthrocentesis. Mean synovial fluid PGE2 concentrations increased linearly with increasing levels of LPS administration (P 0.01). Additionally, regardless of treatment, PGE2 increased over time and peaked at 12 h postinjection (P 0.01) and remained elevated above baseline at 336 h postinduction. Synovial concentrations of anabolic CPII increased linearly (P 0.01) with increasing dosage of LPS and increased (P 0.01) over 24 h in all horses, beginning at 6 h and peaking at 24 h postinjection. Concentrations of C2C in synovial fluid were not influenced by treatment and decreased from 0 to 6 h and steadily increased to 24 h in all horses (P 0.01). These results indicate that intra-articular LPS induced intra-articular inflammation and collagen synthesis in young horses and that the response is dose dependent. The use of this model to induce predictable joint inflammation may provide insight to the efficacy of preventative strategies relating to joint disease in the young horse.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Lucia, J. L., Coverdale, J. A., Arnold, C. E., & Winsco, K. N.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Lucia, JL||Coverdale, JA||Arnold, CE||Winsco, KN

publication date

  • January 2013