Glucocorticoids and Obesity

Glucocorticoids have been implicated as a cause of both laminitis and IR. "Our team has been interested in the role that glucocorticoids (corticosteroid drugs or hormones that are involved in carbohydrate metabolism and the body's response to stress) might play in terms of risk of laminitis," Philip Johnson, BVSc(Hons), MS, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS, professor of veterinary medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri commented at the 2006 AAEP Convention. "Newer work in humans suggests that glucocorticoids play a critical role in the development of visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome.

"Glucocorticoids also cause expansion of adipose tissues in the body," he noted. "If present in sufficient quantity (as in the obese state), locally generated cortisol (often called stress hormone) will both stimulate further local adipogenesis (fat deposition) and contribute to IR.

"Circumstances under which individuals might be influenced by the action of excess glucocorticoids include Cushing's syndrome, the administration of synthetic glucocorticoids for therapeutic purposes, and stress," he wrote.

Get research and health news from the American Association of Equine Practitioners 2006 Convention in The Horse's AAEP 2006 Wrap-Up sponsored by OCD Equine. Files are available as free PDF downloads.

About the Author

Christy M. West

Christy West has a BS in Equine Science from the University of Kentucky, and an MS in Agricultural Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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