Biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation in biological samples collected from recurrent airway obstruction (RAO)-affected horses and their controls


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Virginia Tech


Multiple biomarkers of oxidative stress have been measured and used in human medicine to diagnose and monitor airway disease. The purpose of the study was to determine if similar relationships existed between inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers in exhaled breath condensate (EBC), bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma; and cytokine expression in airway inflammatory cells and mucosal biopsies of RAO-affected horses and their controls.

Sixteen horses in pairs were used: 8 non-RAO-affected (controls) and 8 RAO-affected horses. Samples from all horses were collected at remission (S1), during environmental challenge (S2) and at recovery (S3).

RAO-affected horses had significant alterations in cellular glutathione peroxidase (cGPx) activity, ascorbic acid and pH in a number of biological samples. Concentrations of 8-isoprostanes, isofurans, amino acids and mRNA expression of interleukin 4 (IL4), gamma interferon (INFγ), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), extracellular glutathione peroxidase (GPx-3), and cytosolic superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) were not significantly different or were at the limits of detection. Conductivity was measured and assessed as a potential correctional factor for respiratory fluid dilution.

The alterations in biomarker concentrations demonstrate that oxidative stress is an important component of airway inflammation in RAO-affected horses. Further research is warranted in the use of biomarkers and the effects of dietary interventions.



exhaled breath condensate, bronchoalveolar lavage, glutathione peroxidase, pH, 8-isoprostane, isofuran, amino acid, recurrent airway obstruction, oxidative stress