Biochemical characterisation of navicular hyaline cartilage, navicular fibrocartilage and the deep digital flexor tendon in horses with navicular disease
Viitanen, M.; Bird, J.; Smith, R.; Tulamo, R.M.; May, S.A.
Research in Veterinary Science 75(2): 113-120
The study hypothesis was that navicular disease is a process analogous to degenerative joint disease, which leads to changes in navicular fibrocartilage and in deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) matrix composition and that the process extends to the adjacent distal interphalangeal joint. The objectives were to compare the biochemical composition of the navicular articular and palmar cartilages from 18 horses with navicular disease with 49 horses with no history of front limb lameness, and to compare navicular fibrocartilage with medial meniscus of the stifle and collateral cartilage of the hoof. Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), total glycosaminoglycan (GAG), metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 and water content in tissues were measured. Hyaline cartilage had the highest content of COMP and COMP content in hyaline cartilage and tendon was higher in lame horses than in sound horses (p<0.05). The concentration of MMP-2 amount in hyaline cartilage was higher in lame horses than in sound horses. The MMP-2 amounts were significantly higher in tendons compared to other tissue types. Overall, 79% of the lame horses with lesions had MMP-9 in their tendons and the amount was higher than in sound horses (p<0.05). In horses with navicular disease there were matrix changes in navicular hyaline and fibrocartilage as well as the DDFT with potential implications for the pathogenesis and management of the condition.