Changes in Serum Biochemical Markers of Bone Cell Activity in Growing Thoroughbred Horses

  • Inoue, Yoshinobu (Equine Science Division, Hidaka Training and Research Center, Japan Racing Association) ;
  • Asai, Y. (Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University) ;
  • Ohmori, H. (Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University) ;
  • Fujii, H. (Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University) ;
  • Matsui, T. (Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University) ;
  • Yano, H. (Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University)
  • Received : 2006.01.10
  • Accepted : 2006.05.30
  • Published : 2006.11.01


We studied the changes in biochemical markers of bone metabolism in growing Thoroughbred horses. Serum osteocalcin (OC), as a marker for bone formation, and carboxy-terminal propeptide of type-I collagen (PICP), as a marker for bone formation, carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type-I collagen (ICTP), as a marker for bone resorption, were determined in nine clinically healthy horses from 3 d to 17 mo of age. The BW and withers height (WH) increased during the study. On the other hand, a rapid reduction in body weight gain (BWG) was observed between 1 mo and 9 mo of age and a rapid reduction in withers height gain was observed between 1 mo and 5 mo of age. The serum markers decreased significantly with increasing age. In particular, dramatic changes in serum markers occurred between 3 d to 1 wk and 5 to 7 mo of age in these horses, which suggests that bone turnover rapidly decreased after birth. On the other hand, the ratio of PICP to ICTP decreased through the experiment. This result suggests that the reduction in bone formation exceeded that of bone resorption. There was a significant correlation between markers and growth parameters, except for the correlation between PICP and BWG on single linear regression analysis. Serum OC and ICTP were affected by the WH in multiple linear regression analysis. These results indicated that the age-related variation in serum biochemical markers of bone metabolism reflected bone growth, but neither BW nor BWG. Therefore, we consider that changes in bone modeling are the major factor affecting the levels of serum biochemical markers by 17 mo of age in horses.


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