Reasons for performing study: NMR-metabonomics is an unbiased evaluation method, which allows to comprehensively study changes of the equine metabolic profile in early time point laminitis. This might give insight into the early stages of disease development.
Objectives: To detect hitherto unknown changes in blood metabolites during the development of oligofructose-induced laminitis by comparing pre- and post induction blood samples.
Methods: Prior to laminitis induction blood was sampled to establish control values. Post oligofructose administration (POA) blood was collected every 3 h for 24 h. One-dimensional 1H-NMR spectra of the blood plasma were statistically analysed.
Results: NMR resonances of >20 metabolites were identified using this technique. Already known changes (e.g. lactate concentrations) were confirmed using this method. Interestingly, oligofructose, a carbohydrate usually considered indigestible in the small intestine, or derivatives of oligofructose, was detected in plasma. Horses also showed increased phosphatidylcholine and/or low density lipoprotein levels POA, indicating a change in blood lipid composition. An increase in phosphatidylcholine is consistent with the breakdown of the mucosal layer of the large intestine and increased permeability of the gut.
Conclusion: Due to the nontargeted approach of metabonomics, new unexpected changes can be identified, in this case the hitherto unknown oligofructose uptake through the mucosal wall and the phospholipid changes.
Potential relevance: Metabolic changes in disease can be observed using NMR metabonomics. Oligofructose is used in feedstuffs and transport mechanisms through the mucosa should be studied. Phospholipids could point to a compromise of the intestinal wall during laminitis development.