Antibodies to elastin peptides in sera of Warmblood horses at different ages

L. Van Brantegem, H. E V De Cock, Verena K Affolter, L. Duchateau, J. Govaere, G. L. Ferraro, R. Ducatelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Reasons for performing study: Early diagnosis and monitoring progression of chronic diseases in elastin-rich tissues, such as chronic progressive lymphoedema in draught horses and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is still a real challenge in the horse. Use of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect anti-elastin antibody (AEAb) levels might be useful to assess the status of such diseases. Baseline levels, representing physiological breakdown of elastin in normal horses, are not available at present. Hypothesis: Levels of AEAb in healthy horses are generally low and follow the same age-related pattern as found in man. Therefore, elevation of AEAb levels in serum can be used to evaluate pathological elastin breakdown in elastin-rich tissues. Methods: Sera of 84 clinically healthy Warmblood horses were evaluated for the presence of AEAbs by means of a modified version of an ELISA technique used in man. The horses were divided in 5 age groups: A) <4 months; B) 4-23 months; C) 2-3 years; D) 4-10 years; and E) >11 years. Results: Antibodies to elastin were found in all equine serum samples tested. Their levels were lowest in Group A, low in Groups B and E and highest in animals age 2-10 years. Conclusions: Measuring AEAbs in serum of horses by an ELISA technique proved to be possible and levels were stable during well-defined life stages. Potential relevance: Changes in AEAb levels are expected to be useful for early diagnosis and for monitoring progression of diseases that affect elastin-rich tissues, such as chronic progressive lymphoedema and COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-416
Number of pages3
JournalEquine Veterinary Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Anti-elastin antibodies
  • Elastin
  • Horse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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