Hormonal Resistin, a Potential Inflammation Biofabricator in Horses – Study

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Plasma levels of the hormone resistin in horses show promise as a biomarker of inflammatory conditions, the researchers report.

Obesity and its associated complications, such as metabolic syndrome, are a growing problem in humans and horses.

Equine metabolic syndrome is characterized by increased body fat, problems with insulin regulation, and a predisposition to laminitis.

Fat tissue is a way to store energy, but it also has endocrine action regulated by cell signaling molecules called adipokines.

Elevated levels of one of these adipokines, resistin, originally discovered in mice in 2001, have been linked to metabolic changes and inflammation.

Recent evidence suggests that circulating resistin levels do not reflect obesity levels in humans, but are linked to certain inflammatory diseases such as chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and sepsis.

Researchers in Spain, writing in the journal Animals, noted that the relationship between plasma resistin levels and insulin resistance is not clearly established in humans.

Beatriz Fuentes-Romero and her fellow researchers set out to study the utility of resistin as a biomarker, exploring its relationship to insulin deregulation and certain indicators of inflammation in horses.

Seventy-two horses included in the study were divided into four groups. One group consisted of 14 healthy controls, 21 had inflammatory conditions, 18 had mild insulin deregulation, and 19 had severe insulin deregulation.

Plasma resistin concentrations were found to be significantly different between the groups, the researchers reported.

Higher values ​​were recorded in the groups with inflammatory conditions and severe insulin deregulation. Plasma resistin concentrations were not altered in horses with only moderate insulin disturbance.

The study team found that plasma resistin levels did not correlate with basal insulin concentrations, but they found a significant correlation between higher resistin levels and the inflammatory marker serum amyloid A.

The lack of correlation between resistin and baseline insulin level and its significant correlation with serum amyloid A suggests that, as in humans, plasma resistin concentrations in horses are primarily related to inflammatory conditions. and not to insulin deregulation, they said.

The higher resistin levels seen in horses with insulin dysregulation may well be secondary to the inflammatory condition associated with equine metabolic syndrome, they said.

Discussing their findings, the researchers said the diagnostic value of resistin differed between species.

“While in some species, such as rodents, plasma resistin concentrations increase with obesity and metabolic syndrome, in other species, such as humans, plasma resistin concentrations preferentially increase when associated with inflammatory problems.

“These differences are probably related to the cellular origin of the resistin. In mice, resistin is produced primarily by fat cells, while in humans, it is generated primarily in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, macrophages, and bone marrow cells.

“As far as we know, there is still no report on the origin of resistin in horses.”

The mechanisms that influence the elevation of resistin associated with inflammation are not well understood, they said.

In conclusion, the researchers stated that resistin can be reliably measured in equine plasma and that its concentrations increase preferentially in horses with inflammatory conditions as opposed to those with insulin deregulation.

“From a diagnostic point of view, the usefulness of resistin seems to be linked preferentially to inflammatory conditions and has little value for the diagnosis of insulin deregulation. “

Further studies will be needed to better understand the diagnostic value of resistin in a range of inflammatory conditions and to determine whether resistin measurements may be of diagnostic value for evaluating the inflammatory state in horses with dysregulation. insulin.

The study team included Fuentes-Romero, María Martín-Cuervo and Manuel Iglesias-García, with the University of Extremadura; Alberto Muñoz-Prieto and José Cerón, with the University of Murcia; and Escolástico Aguilera-Tejero and Elisa Díez-Castro, with the University of Cordoba.

Fuentes-Romero, B .; Muñoz-Prieto, A .; Cerón, JJ; Martín-Cuervo, M.; Iglesias-García, M .; Aguilera-Tejero, E .; Díez-Castro, E. Measurement of plasma resistance concentrations in horses with metabolic and inflammatory disorders. Animals 2022, 12, 77. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12010077

The study, published under a Creative Commons license, can be read here.

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