Austrian scientists are calling for more study on the role of endotoxins in the development of laminitis after conducting a lab-based study on hoof tissue.

The findings of "Concentration Dependent Influence of Lipopolysaccharides on Separation of Hoof Explants and Supernatant Lactic Acid Concentration in an Ex Vivio/In Vitro Laminitis Model" were published in Plos One.

Endotoxins, also known as lipopolysaccharides, are toxic substances that are bound to the bacterial cell walls of certain gram-negative bacteria that can be released when the bacterium ruptures or disintegrates. Endotoxins and exotoxins, which are secreted by bacteria, appear to play a significant role in the development of laminitis.

Nicole Resigner and her research team were studying how an increase of endotoxin concentrations on cell viability of isolated epidermal and dermal hoof cells, as well as on the tissue integrity of hoof tissue samples.

In addition, glucose, acetic acid, lactic acid and propionic acid concentrations were measured to evaluate the energy metabolism in the hoof tissue.

Although endotoxins did not exhibit cytotoxic effects on the epidermal or dermal cells, significantly less force was necessary to separate hoof tissue treated with the higher concentrations of endotoxins than control samples. In addition, endotoxins led to an alteration of the lactic acid production in the lamellar tissue.

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