Alterations of Circulating Biomarkers During Late Term Pregnancy Complications in the Horse Part I: Cytokines

C. E. Fedorka, B. A. Ball, O. F. Walker, M. E. McCormick, K. E. Scoggin, L. A. Kennedy, E. L. Squires, M. H.T. Troedsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Equine abortions are attributed to both infectious and noninfectious causes. Clinical extrapolations are often made from the experimental model for ascending placentitis towards other causes of fetal compromise, including various markers of inflammation, including the cytokines IL-2, 5, IL-6, IL-10, IFNγ, and TNF. It is unknown if these cytokine changes are noted under field conditions, or if they increase preceding other pregnancy related complications. To assess this, Thoroughbred mares (n = 702) had weekly blood obtained beginning in December 2013 and continuing until parturition. Fetal membranes were submitted to the UKVDL for complete gross and pathologic assessment and classified as either ascending placentitis (n = 6), focal mucoid placentitis (n = 6), idiopathic abortion (n = 6) or control (n = 20). Weekly serum samples were analyzed via immunoassay for concentrations of IL-2, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IFNγ, and TNF. For both focal mucoid placentitis and ascending placentitis, an increase (P <.05) in the concentrations of IL-2, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IFNγ, and TNF was noted preceding parturition in comparison to controls. Cytokine profiles preceding idiopathic abortion did not differ from controls. In conclusion, serum cytokines may be considered potential biomarkers for the prediction of placental infection, while no changes in cytokine profiles were noted when noninfectious causes of abortion occurred. Additionally, this is the first study to report an increase in cytokines during the disease process of focal mucoid placentitis, the etiology of which includes Nocardioform placentitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103425
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Abortion
  • Biomarker
  • Cytokine
  • Equine
  • Placentitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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