Identification of tumour necrosis factor in the blood and peritoneal fluid of horses with colic



Tumour necrosis factor was detected both in the blood and peritoneal fluid of 14 horses with various types of gastrointestinal obstruction. In comparison, tumour necrosis factor was not present in these fluids in 6 normal horses and ponies. The median endotoxin concentration was increased in the blood of horses with colic, but the median interleukin-1 concentration was not altered in the blood and peritoneal fluid of colic cases in comparison with the normal horses and ponies. This preliminary work supports the hypothesis that tumour necrosis factor is involved in the endotoxaemia which is a consequence of severe gastrointestinal obstructions, and that it is a potential target for medical therapy in such cases.