Research on Insulin and Equine Laminitis

Insulin weakens the structural integrity of equine lamellae in an ex vivo model.
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hooves closeup front leg

Research was designed to characterize the effects of insulin on the structural integrity of the hoof lamellae.

An article published in the Equine Veterinary Journal was titled "In the Ex vivo effects of insulin on the structural integrity of equine digital lamellae." It was authored by Sandow, C.; Fugler, L.A.; Leise, B.; Riggs, L.; Monroe, W.T.; Totaro, N.; Belknap, J.; Eades, S. Following is information on the research.

"This ex vivo study by Cole Sandow and colleagues in America aimed to characterize the effects of insulin on the structural integrity of the hoof lamellae. Tissue were harvested from the dorsal aspect of the fore feet of four horses euthanized for reasons other than diseases of the digit. Multiple lamellar explants were harvested from each horse and equilibrated and incubated for 8 hours in cell culture medium alone or in a medium supplemented with 2.5 μg/mL insulin. After 8 hours of incubation at 37°C, mechanical testing was performed by placing each explant into a clamp device and applying a mechanical load to create tension parallel to the long axis of the distal phalanx until explant failure. The load, stress and elongation to failure were rerecorded. Selected explants also underwent histological evaluation after testing.

"A total of 89 explants were tested, with 50 in the control group and 39 in the insulin group. Explant failure occurred in 90% (n = 35) of those incubated in insulin compared to 72% (n = 36) of those in the control group. Those incubated in insulin failed at a significantly lower load and stress. Histology of explants incubated in inulin showed separation of the epidermal‐dermal attachments at the basement membrane, whereas the controls better retained the basement membrane attachment."

Bottom line from this research: Insulin weakens the structural integrity of equine lamellae in an ex vivo model.

You can find this article at Wiley's online library.

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