Could Platelet-Rich Plasma Be a Clinical Treatment for Horses With Laminitis?

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Laminitis is one of the most painful orthopedic diseases afflicting horses and one of the main causes of euthanasia in these animals. Although there is expansive knowledge about the cellular and molecular pathophysiology of this disease, few advances have been made in determining the most appropriate therapeutic targets. We hypothesize that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) could be effective in treating horses with naturally occurring chronic laminitis for the following reasons: (1) knowledge about the roles of the main catabolic molecules implicated in the progression of founder, (2) information from basic research on PRP biology, and (3) the positive clinical response in horses afflicted by chronic musculoskeletal disease and wounds, which have been successfully treated with PRP. Platelet-rich plasma contains several growth factors, anti-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and other substances that can downregulate the proinflammatory and catabolic effects of interleukin 1 and tumor necrosis factor alpha that could be implicated in the catabolic/inflammatory process of equine laminitis. Platelet-rich plasma also contains anabolic and angiogenic polypeptides that could have a positive effect on the course of this disease.HighlightsPlatelet-rich plasma (PRP) could be an effective treatment for equine laminitis.Growth factors contained in PRP could be anabolic for laminitic hooves.Growth factors contained in PRP downregulate catabolic cytokines.Antimicrobial properties of PRP might be useful to manage infection in laminitic horses.

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