Effects of advanced age and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction on components of the acute phase reaction in horses

A. Zak, N. Siwinska, S. Elzinga, V. D. Barker, T. Stefaniak, B. J. Schanbacher, N. J. Place, A. Niedzwiedz, A. A. Adams

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11 Scopus citations


Age, neurodegenerative disorders, and dysfunction of insulin secretion may be correlated with increased systemic concentrations of acute phase markers. Thus, the study aimed to determine the effect of age, pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), and insulin dysregulation (ID) associated with PPID, on markers of the acute phase reaction. Twenty-nine mix-breed horses of both sexes were classified into groups: (1) healthy adult controls, (2) healthy non-PPID geriatric horses, (3) PPID ID+ horses, and (4) PPID ID− horses. Whole blood proinflammatory cytokine gene expression and serum concentrations of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins were measured. The data were analyzed using the Mann–Whitney U-test, and correlations between groups of data were assessed using Spearman's correlation coefficient. The tests were statistically significant if P < 0.05. No differences in the whole blood cytokine gene expression, serum cytokine concentrations, or acute phase proteins were noted between the groups. In the PPID ID group, there was a strong correlation between the ACTH concentration after the administration of thyrotropin-releasing hormone and the expression of IL-8 (r = 0.941; P = 0.0321). In the PPID ID+ group, there was a strong correlation between basal insulin concentrations and serum amyloid A (SAA; r = 0.936; P = 0.0083) as well as between postprandial insulin concentrations and SAA (r = 0.965; P = 0.001). These data suggest that neurodegeneration in horses moderately affects circulating markers of inflammation and that ID in horses with PPID influences acute phase inflammatory markers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106476
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Equine Cushing's disease
  • Geriatric
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin
  • Neurodegeneration
  • SAA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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