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The amount of seretonin in blood differs between dog breeds

Last changed: 24 January 2019
Close up of dog head resting on table top. Photo
Foto: Bru-nO, Pixabay

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) has several biological functions. In different species, excessive 5-HT has been linked to valvular lesions, similar to those seen in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease. Previous studies suggest higher 5-HT in healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCSs), a breed highly affected by myxomatous mitral valve disease, compared to other breeds.

Objective

To investigate potential interbreed variation in serum 5-HT in healthy dogs.

Animals

483 healthy dogs of nine breeds aged 1–7 years.

Methods

Dogs were examined at five European centers. Absence of cardiovascular, organ-related, or systemic diseases was ensured by thorough clinical investigations including echocardiography. Serum was frozen and later analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results

Median 5-HT concentration was 252.5 (interquartile range = 145.5–390.6) ng/mL. Overall breed difference was found (p<0.0001), and 42% of pairwise breed comparisons were significant. Univariate regression analysis showed association between serum 5-HT concentration and breed, center of examination, storage time, and sex, with higher 5-HT in females. In multiple regression analysis, the final model had an adjusted R2 of 0.27 with breed (p<0.0001), center (p<0.0001), and storage time (p=0.014) remaining significant. Within centers, overall breed differences were found at 3/5 centers (p≤0.028), and pairwise comparisons within those centers showed breed differences in 42% of comparisons. Among the included breeds, Newfoundlands, Belgian Shepherds and CKCSs had highest 5-HT concentrations.

Conclusions

Interbreed variation in serum 5-HT concentration was found in healthy dogs aged 1–7 years. These differences should be taken into account when designing clinical studies.

Link to the publication

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvc.2018.05.002

Reference

Höglund K, Häggström J, Hanås S, Merveille A-C, Gouni V, Wiberg M, Lundgren Willesen J, Mc Entee K, Mejer Sørensen L, Tiret L, Seppälä E.H, Lohi H, Chetboul V, Fredholm M, Lequarré A-S, Ljungvall I. Inter-breed variation in serum serotonin (5-HT) concentration in healthy dogs. Journal of Veterinary Cardiology, (2018), volume 20, issue 4, pages 244-253.


Contact

Katja Höglund
Senior Lecturer at the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB); Division of Anatomy and Physiology

Telephone: 018-672118
E-mail: katja.hoglund@slu.se