Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Animal Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Samuel J. Black

Second Advisor

Dominique Alfandari

Third Advisor

Cynthia L. Baldwin

Subject Categories

Animal Sciences | Molecular Biology


Equine laminitis is a devastating condition that results in the failure of the tissue responsible for suspending the skeleton within the hoof capsule. The digital laminae is composed of two interdigitated layers, the dermal lamellae surrounding the distal pedal bone, and the epidermal lamellae, which interfaces with the hoof wall. During laminitis, these layers separate, allowing for rotation and sinking of the pedal bone. While there are multiple diseases and physiological conditions associated with the development of laminitis, including sepsis, metabolic syndrome, and unequal weight bearing, the exact cause remains elusive. Prior work by our research group identified the metalloprotease ADAMTS-4 as a potential early instigator of disease. The data presented herein catalogs the distribution of the substrates of this enzyme, aggrecan and versican, the ramifications of ADAMTS-4-mediated versican loss in the laminae, and further expands into the repression of the canonical wnt signaling pathway and potential additional metalloprotease (MMP) involvement in disease, utilizing a model of acute, carbohydrate-induced laminitis. Additionally, samples from other models of laminitis induction and clinical samples were screened for differential expression of relevant gene markers, including versican, members of the canonical wnt signaling pathway, and MMP-1 and -13. Together, these data provide a characterization of laminar pathology in the carbohydrate-induced model, as well as highlighting key similarities and differences amongst multiple methods of disease development, and lay important groundwork for developing clinical therapeutic interventions.