Objective - To measure the ascorbic acid (AA) concentration in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and cellular glutathione peroxidase (cGPx) activity in RBCs and WBCs from peripherally obtained blood and in cells from BALF to determine whether differences existed between the 2 major redox systems in recurrent airway obstruction (RAO)-affected and -nonaffected (control) horses and between systemic and local pulmonary responses in the glutathione redox system. Animals - 16 adult horses in pairs: 8 healthy (control) and 8 RAO-affected horses. Procedures - Physical examination data and biological samples were collected from horses before (remission), during, and after (recovery) environmental challenge with dusty straw and hay. At each stage, BALF cell AA concentration and RBC, WBC, and BALF cell cGPx activity were measured. Results - Compared with control horses, RAO-affected horses had significantly higher cGPx activity in RBCs at all points and in WBCs during remission and challenge. The BALF cell cGPx activity was higher in RAO-affected horses during recovery than during remission. The BALF cell AA concentration did not differ significantly in control horses at any point, but total and free AA concentrations were significantly lower in RAO-affected horses during the challenge period than during remission and recovery periods. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - High cGPx activity suggested this redox system was upregulated during exposure to dusty straw and hay to combat oxidative stress, as AA was depleted in RAO-affected horses. The relative delay and lack of comparative increase in cGPx activity within the local environment (represented by BALF cells), compared with that in RBCs and WBCs, might contribute to disease in RAO-affected horses.
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