Abstract

We report the results of a symposium aimed at identifying validated biomarkers that can be used to complement clinical observations for diagnosis and prognosis of joint injury leading to equine osteoarthritis (OA). Biomarkers might also predict pre-fracture change that could lead to catastrophic bone failure in equine athletes. The workshop was attended by leading scientists in the fields of equine and human musculoskeletal biomarkers to enable cross-disciplinary exchange and improve knowledge in both. Detailed proceedings with strategic planning was written, added to, edited and referenced to develop this manuscript. The most recent information from work in equine and human osteoarthritic biomarkers was accumulated, including the use of personalized healthcare to stratify OA phenotypes, transcriptome analysis of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscal injuries in the human knee. The spectrum of \"wet\" biomarker assays that are antibody based that have achieved usefulness in both humans and horses, imaging biomarkers and the role they can play in equine and human OA was discussed. Prediction of musculoskeletal injury in the horse remains a challenge, and the potential usefulness of spectroscopy, metabolomics, proteomics, and development of biobanks to classify biomarkers in different stages of equine and human OA were reviewed. The participants concluded that new information and studies in equine musculoskeletal biomarkers have potential translational value for humans and vice versa. OA is equally important in humans and horses, and the welfare issues associated with catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in horses add further emphasis to the need for good validated biomarkers in the horse.

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