Evaluation of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy in domestic and feral horse populations in Australia using histologic and immunohistochemical analysis: A pilot study

Natasha E Lean, Samantha H Franklin, Cate Steel, Lucy Woolford, Jason White, Benjamin J Ahern

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Little is known about potential differences in the left recurrent laryngeal nerve (Lrln) and left cricoarytenoideus dorsalis (LCAD) muscle between domestic and feral horse populations. If a difference exists, feral horses may provide a useful control population for research related to recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN) and increase our understanding of potential population pressures influencing the incidence RLN.

    OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to compare the Lrln and LCAD of domestic and feral horses using histological and immunohistochemical techniques (IHC).

    METHODS: Sixteen horses, domestic (n = 8) and feral (n = 8), without clinical or ancillary examinations that were processed at an abattoir had the Lrln and LCAD muscle harvested immediately following death. Carcass weights were recorded. Subjective and morphometric histologic assessment were performed on Lrln sections. The LCAD was assessed for myosin heavy chain (fibre type proportion, diameter and grouping using IHC.

    RESULTS: Fibre-type grouping consistent with RLN was seen in both groups. Regenerating fibre clusters were more common in domestic compared to feral horses (p = 0.04). No other histologic differences occurred between groups. Muscle fibre typing demonstrated a lower mean percentage of type IIX fibres in the feral group compared to the domestic group (p = 0.03). There was no difference in type I or IIA proportions or mean diameter of any fibre type between the groups.

    CONCLUSIONS: The domestic population showed evidence of nerve regeneration suggesting RLN in this group, yet this was not supported by the higher proportion of type IIX muscle fibres compared to the feral population. Further evaluation to clarify the significance and wider occurrence of the differences is indicated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1610-1617
    Number of pages8
    JournalVeterinary Medicine and Science
    Volume9
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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