A research project funded by The Horse Trust has made important discoveries about how two peptides regulate the inflammatory response in horses. This knowledge could help with the development of improved anti-inflammatory drugs.
A research project funded by The Horse Trust has made important discoveries about how two peptides regulate the inflammatory response in horses.
This knowledge could help with the development of improved anti-inflammatory drugs, which are used to treat a wide range of conditions in horses. Inflammation is associated with a wide range of equine diseases, including recurrent airway obstruction, laminitis and sweet itch.
The research project was led by Prof Fiona Cunningham at the Royal Veterinary College and Dr Karen Rickards at the Donkey Sanctuary, assisted by Dr Andrew Brooks at the RVC, and by Dr Kirstie Pickles, now at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh.
This research, funded by The Horse Trust, aimed to find out more about two naturally-occurring peptides – chains of amino acids that are shorter than proteins – known as annexin-1 and CXCL8. Both have been shown to affect the inflammatory response but little research has been done on their effects in horses. In the long term, knowing more about these compounds could help in the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs with fewer side effects.
Prof Cunningham said: “This Horse Trust-funded research has resulted in some very interesting findings about how inflammatory cells are regulated in horses. The receptors that annexin-1 and CXCL8 act upon could be targets for new equine inflammatory drugs, but more research is needed first to fully understand their actions and how they produce these effects.”
- The team’s research has been accepted for publication by Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, a peer-reviewed medical journal covering allergy and immunology in the domain of veterinary medicine.