Systemic concentrations of antioxidants and biomarkers of macromolecular oxidative damage in horses with grass sickness

McGorum, BC; Wilson, R; Pirie, RS; Mayhew, IG; Kaur, H; Aruoma, OI; (2003) Systemic concentrations of antioxidants and biomarkers of macromolecular oxidative damage in horses with grass sickness. Equine veterinary journal, 35 (2). pp. 121-126. ISSN 0425-1644 DOI:

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Reasons for performing study: The aetiopathogenesis of equine grass sickness (EGS) is unknown. The role of free radical- mediated neuronal damage has not previously been investigated in this condition. Objectives: To investigate the potential contribution of oxidative damage and antioxidant status to neurodegeneration in EGS. Methods: Systemic levels of surrogate biomarkers were determined in 10 horses with acute EGS and in 2 control populations; 10 healthy horses co-grazing with the 10 EGS horses at the onset of clinical disease, and 10 healthy mares grazing where EGS has not been reported. Results: EGS horses had alterations in levels of several antioxidants, consistent with oxidative stress, the acute phase response and/or the secondary metabolic complications of EGS. EGS horses had elevated plasma dihydroxyphenylaianine (DOPA) levels. Conclusions: The elevated DOPA levels probably reflected a generalised disturbance of catecholamine metabolism rather than increased DOPA production via free radical-mediated oxidation of tyrosime. However, there was no evidence of systemic macromolecular oxidative damage. Potential clinical relevance: Further work is required to determine whether macromolecular oxidative damage occurring at the neuronal level contributes to EGS.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: horse, antioxidants, grass sickness, oxidative stress, Equine dysautonomia, plasma-levels, fatty-acids, body-fluids, uric-acid, proteins, stress, catecholamines, allantoin, radicals, Animal, Antioxidants, analysis, Autonomic Nervous System Diseases, blood, etiology, veterinary, Biological Markers, blood, Case-Control Studies, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, veterinary, Dihydroxyphenylalanine, blood, Fatty Acids, blood, Female, Horse Diseases, blood, etiology, Horses, Oxidative Stress, physiology, Plant Poisoning, veterinary, Poaceae, poisoning, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Trace Elements, blood, Vitamins, blood
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
PubMed ID: 12638786
Web of Science ID: 181583700003


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