A biological extract of high-rosmarinic acid mint (HRAM) has previously demonstrated inhibitory effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), nitric oxide (NO) and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) release in vitro. This study was undertaken to determine whether HRAM added to feed produces similar effects in horses challenged with intra-articular LPS. Eight horses received HRAM (0 or 28.1 ± 1.3 g/day; n = 4 per group) in their feed for 24 days in a blinded manner. On day 21, all horses received an intra-articular injection of LPS (0.3 ng) into their left or right intercarpal joint. Synovial fluid (SF) samples were taken on postinjection day (PID)-21 (i.e. prior to commencement of supplementation), PID0, PID0.25, PID0.5, PID1 and PID3 and analysed for PGE(2), GAG, NO, protein and total nucleated cells counts. Blood biochemistry and haematology screens were conducted at PID-21, PID0, PID1 and PID3. There was a significant reduction in LPS-induced PGE(2) and GAG in SF in horses supplemented with HRAM compared with controls and a tendency to increase complement recognition protein accumulation in synovial fluid of HRAM horses. Plasma from HRAM horses had reduced total white blood cells, segmented neutrophils (compared with baseline concentrations) and lymphocytes (compared with controls), and increased SF nucleated cell count (compared with baseline concentrations and controls). It is concluded that HRAM offered as part of the feed alter biomarkers of inflammation in SF of LPS-challenged horses. Larger studies that seek to clarify effects of HRAM on synovial fluid cell counts and possible role of HRAM-induced interference with complement signalling are warranted.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.