Gene regulation may positively impact equine respiratory disease

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Dec 01, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

Buckinghamshire, UK — A new research project, funded through The Horse Trust in Buckinghamshire, UK, shows that genes classified as mucins may regulate mucous proteins and change over the course of equine respiratory disease.

According to research findings, horses with respiratory disease have greater amounts of a certain mucin, known as Muc5b. A second mucin, Muc5AC, also was elevated in respiratory disease but at lower levels than Muc5b.

Research demonstrated that horses that generate high mucin gene levels may have greater goblet cell counts in their airways. According to researchers, this would show that a vital regulatory response may be the development of glandular cells instead of absolute production of mucin proteins.

Monitoring how these changes are regulated may lead to new treatments for the respiratory condition, researchers note. The next stage of the research will investigate how mucin levels are controlled and affected by in vitro treatment.