Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Perinatal Stress in Immature Foals May Lead to Subclinical Adrenocortical Dysregulation in Adult Horses: Pilot Study
Contributor(s): Clothier, Jane  (author)orcid ; Small, Alison (author); Hinch, Geoff  (author)orcid ; Brown, Wendy Y  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2022-04
Early Online Version: 2022-01-21
DOI: 10.1016/j.jevs.2022.103869
Handle Link:

The persistent endocrinological effects of perinatal stress due to gestational immaturity in horses are unknown, although effects have been reported in other livestock species. This pilot study tested the hypothesis that persistent adrenocortical dysregulation is present in horses that were gestationally immature at birth by assessing the salivary cortisol response to exogenous ACTH.

Case horses (n = 10) were recruited with histories of gestation length < 315 d or dysmaturity observable through neonatal signs. Positive controls (n = 7) and negative controls (n = 5) were recruited where possible from related horses at the same locations. Cases and positive controls received an intramuscular, low-dose (0.1 ug/kg) of synthetic ACTH (Tetracosactrin 250 mg/mL, Synacthen); negative controls received no ACTH. Saliva samples were collected from all horses at baseline T = 0 and at 30 min intervals post injection from T = 30 to T = 150. These were assayed for salivary cortisol concentration (SCC) using a commercially available ELISA kit (Salimetrics).

All baseline values (T = 0) were within normal published ranges. Peak and AUC values (corrected for baseline) for case horses were significantly different (ANOVA P < .001) to positive controls, with either higher (H-cases) or lower (L-cases) SCC values, outside the 95% Confidence Interval of the reference population. There was no significant effect of breed, age, sex, test month, or location on results. The results suggest that gestational immaturity may lead to subclinical adrenocortical dysregulation, with affected horses presenting an elevated or blunted response to a low-dose ACTH stimulation, despite normal basal levels.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, v.111, p. 1-9
Publisher: Elsevier Inc
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1542-7412
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100406 Horses
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

Files in This Item:
1 files
File SizeFormat 
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Mar 7, 2023


checked on Mar 7, 2023
Google Media

Google ScholarTM



Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.