Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Kristine Vernon

Committee Member

Dr. Heather Walker-Dunn

Committee Member

Dr. Josie Coverdale

Committee Member

Dr. William Bridges


Osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of lameness in the athletic horse. Cases of equine osteoarthritis typically present with synovitis, or inflammation of the synovium. This inflammation in the synovium leads to the production of inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids. Although these downstream products can be beneficial, overproduction can lead to degradation of cartilage and joint disease. Opportunities to help mitigate or decrease inflammation within the joint are of current interest to the equine industry. One method being investigated is nutritional supplementation. The anti-inflammatory effects demonstrated by CLA supplementation make it a potential prospect for utilization in mitigating joint inflammation. Therefore, this in-vitro study was designed to measure COX-2 expression in rabbit fibroblastic synoviocytes when challenged with LPS and pretreated with CLA (cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 isomer mixture). Results of this study demonstrated a significant increase in COX-2 production when both CLA and the LPS were added to the cell cultures. This increase in mRNA expression suggests there is possibly a different mechanism through which the CLA is acting upon in the synovioctye or the effects of the LPS challenge may be causing down regulation of a protein receptor involved in CLA's anti-inflammatory mechanism. Results of this study display the need for further research to determine the specific effects of the different CLA isomers on the synovium. In addition, investigating the mechanism by which the CLA isomers influences joint inflammation through their action on the synoviocytes needs to be investigated further.



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