The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Osteoarthritis (OA) is estimated to be responsible for up to 60% of equine lameness and as such is an important cause of pain, disability and economic loss within the equine industry.
Project 1: Metabolomics as a predictor of metacarp(tarso)phalangeal subchondral bone disease in the Thoroughbred racehorse
Over the last 10 years the importance of the supporting subchondral bone beneath the joint surface has been highlighted in the development of fractures and OA in horses, yet we still know little of why certain horses sustain these injuries and other do not.
Using advanced imaging (MRI) and state of the art scientific techniques such as metabolomics (measurement of small metabolites in the joint fluid) should help to quantify how the subchondral bone contributes to these conditions with the ultimate aim being early detection and prevention. Collaboration with the University of Liverpool.
Project 2: Does the length of time cultured at 37 degrees Celsius affect cytokine or miRNA expression of autologous conditioned serum?
Autologous conditioned serum (ACS) refers to a cytokine rich serum harvested after culturing peripheral blood with coated glass beads. ACS provides a practical alternative intra-articular corticosteroids for biological treatment of joint disease.
Culture of whole blood with the glass beads to produce ACS may lead to modifications in the transcriptomic profile that result in altered gene expression. Next generation sequencing of equine sera to allow proof of such a relationship would have wide ranging implications for the pathophysiology and treatment of osteoarthritis.
Equine Regenerative Medicine
Project 3: Generation and biomedical application of equine induced pluripotent stem cells (Funded by the Horse Betting Levy Board, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Trust, the Pet Plan Charitable Trust and The University of Edinburgh Staff Scholarship scheme)