Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 34, Number 3, May-June 2003
Page(s) 317 - 330
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2003) 317-330
Vet. Res. 34 (2003) 317-330
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2003007

Equine trypsin: purification and development of a radio-immunoassay

Sigrid Grulkea, b, Ginette Deby-Dupontb, c, Monika Gangla, Thierry Francka, b, Carol Debyb and Didier Serteyna, b

a  Anesthésiologie générale et Pathologie chirurgicale des Grands Animaux, B41, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Liège, 4000 Sart Tilman, Belgium
b  Centre de l'Oxygène, Recherche et Développement, B6, Biochimie, Université de Liège, 4000 Sart Tilman, Belgium
c  Anesthésie et Réanimation, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, B35, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Liège, 4000 Sart Tilman, Belgium

(Received 21 March 2002; accepted 20 December 2002)

Shock is accompanied by generalised splanchnic hypoperfusion, and splanchnic organs like the pancreas can be damaged, as shown in animal experimental models and in humans, by the presence of high plasma concentrations of trypsin and other pancreatic enzymes. In order to design a radioimmunoassay technique (RIA) for the measurement of equine trypsin-like immunoreactivity (TLI) in biological fluids, trypsin was purified (with purity $\geq$ 96%) from the equine pancreas by extraction in an acid medium, ammonium sulfate precipitations, gel filtration chromatography and, after activation of trypsinogen into trypsin, affinity chromatography. Gel polyacrylamide electrophoresis showed a monomeric enzyme with a molecular weight of 27 kDa. The purified equine trypsin served for the immunisation of rabbits in order to obtain a specific antiserum, and the labelled antigen was prepared by iodination of equine trypsin with 125I. The RIA was based on the binding of the antigen to the antibody followed by the separation of the antigen-antibody complex by immunoprecipitation in the presence of sheep anti-rabbit gammaglobulins and the assay of the radioactivity in the precipitate. The RIA showed good sensitivity, specificity, precision, accuracy and reproducibility. The reference mean value of TLI in the plasma of healthy horses ( n = 20) was 30.01 $\pm$ 6.84 ng/mL (upper confidence limit 50.52 ng/mL; p < 0.01). Three horses with non strangulating intestinal obstruction without shock showed TLI values within normal limits whereas 5 of 7 horses with strangulation obstruction showed TLI levels above the upper confidence limit. Further studies using the RIA and the enzymatic assay should be performed in order to confirm the role of the pancreas in equine intestinal obstruction.

Key words: equine trypsin / purification / radio-immunoassay / reference range / intestinal obstruction

Correspondence and reprints: Sigrid Grulke Tel.: (32)(0) 4 366 41 03; fax: (32)(0) 4 366 41 08

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003