Palmar digital vessel relaxation in healthy horses and in horses given carbohydrate. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To compare in vitro smooth muscle relaxation of palmar digital vessels from healthy horses with those from horses in the prodromal stage of experimentally (carbohydrate) induced laminitis. ANIMALS: 16 adult horses. PROCEDURE: Segments of palmar digital vessels were obtained from 5 healthy horses and 6 horses given carbohydrate. Vascular rings from the palmar digital artery and vein were suspended in individual organ baths containing buffer solution and indomethacin; isometric tension was recorded, and contraction and relaxation were compared. Smooth muscle contraction in response to cumulative addition of phenylephrine was recorded in the absence and presence of 1 microM NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L -NAME). After wash out, vascular rings were preconstricted with phenylephrine (0.3 microM), and cumulative endothelium-dependent (acetylcholine-induced) and independent (nitroprusside-induced) smooth muscle relaxations were recorded in the absence or presence of L -NAME. RESULTS: Phenylephrine increased vascular smooth muscle tone in ring preparations of palmar digital arteries and veins. Addition of acetylcholine or nitroprusside induced relaxation of palmar digital artery and vein ring preparations. Use of L-NAME (1 microM) significantly reduced maximal relaxation induced by acetylcholine, but not by nitroprusside. Maximal relaxation induced by acetylcholine, but not by nitroprusside, was reduced in vascular rings prepared from carbohydrate-overloaded horses. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Reduced endothelium-dependent relaxation of palmar digital vessels may have a role in the pathophysiology of acute laminitis after carbohydrate overload in horses.

published proceedings

  • Am J Vet Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Schneider, D. A., Parks, A. H., Eades, S. C., & Tackett, R. L.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Schneider, DA||Parks, AH||Eades, SC||Tackett, RL

publication date

  • February 1999