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Age-related changes in serum insulin-like growth factor-I, insulin-like growth factor-I binding protein-3 and articular cartilage structure in Thoroughbred horses



Age-related changes in serum insulin-like growth factor-I, insulin-like growth factor-I binding protein-3 and articular cartilage structure in Thoroughbred horses



Equine Veterinary Journal 37(1): 37-42



Reasons for performing study: Structural changes in articular cartilage associated with the ageing process require definition for investigators performing developmental and age-related studies, for which information is lacking. Objectives: To (1) determine the onset and end of puberty as defined by serum insulin like growth factor (IGF-I) and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) concentrations and (2) correlate articular-epiphyseal cartilage complex structural changes with the onset and end of puberty. Methods: IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were measured in serum samples from normal female and male horses age 9-715 days to determine peak and steady-state values for horses transitioning through puberty. Osteochondral tissue sections were obtained from horses age 120-840 days (4-28 months) and examined histologically for cartilage canals and tidemark formation. Results: In male and female horses, serum IGF-I/IGFBP-3 concentrations peaked at approximately 225 days, defining the onset of puberty. Cartilage canals were absent from articular cartilage just prior to this time point. IGF-I/IGFBP-3 concentrations declined to steady-state levels at approximately age 450 days, signalling exit from puberty and therefore the beginning of ageing. This time point correlated to initial formation of a tidemark in the osteochondral tissue sections. Conclusions: Horses may be considered pubescent at age 225-450 days, and post pubescent and ageing after age 450 days. Potential relevance: Defining the normal post natal to post pubescent concentrations for serum IGF-I and serum IGFBP-3 establishes subsets of animals for age-related studies and may be used to monitor horses for abnormally high IGF-I concentrations due to natural disease or subsequent to systemic growth hormone administration.

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Accession: 004031277

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15651732

DOI: 10.2746/0425164054406838



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