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Biochemical markers of bone metabolism were analysed in serum samples obtained from 60 horses with no history of orthopaedic disease (age 3 months-20 years). Serum levels of the carboxyterminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP), a marker of bone formation and the pyridinoline cross linked telopeptide domain of type I collagen (ICTP), a putative marker of bone resorption, were measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA). Serum levels of the bone specific isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase (BALP), another marker of bone formation, were measured by a wheatgerm agglutinin affinity (WGA) method. Total alkaline phosphatase levels were also determined. Serum levels of PICP were significantly correlated with bone ALP (r = 0.78, P < 0.0001) and ICTP (r = 0.87, P < 0.0001). ICTP levels also correlated significantly with bone ALP (r = 0.81, P < 0.0001). However, total alkaline phosphatase did not correlate significantly with PICP, ICTP and BALP in horses over 1 year of age. There was an inverse correlation between serum levels of all biochemical markers and age of animals, with the most significant changes seen over the first 2 years. In animals less than 1 year of age, the reference ranges (mean +/- s.d. 1.96) were as follows: PICP 1216-2666 micrograms/l, ICTP 13.8-26.7 micrograms/l, bone ALP 134-288 u/l and total ALP 223-498 u/l. In 2-year-olds, the equivalent reference ranges were: PICP 550-1472 micrograms/l, ICTP 7.96-22.8 micrograms/l, bone ALP 32.7-125 u/l and total ALP 134-238 u/l.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original publication




Journal article


Equine vet j

Publication Date





201 - 207


Aging, Alkaline Phosphatase, Animals, Bone and Bones, Collagen, Collagen Type I, Female, Horses, Peptide Fragments, Peptides, Procollagen, Radioimmunoassay, Wheat Germ Agglutinins