Within the body, small molecules called cytokines play a roll in the development of many important processes. They can result in good things, such as an appropriate immune response to infection, or they may be involved in detrimental processes, such as harmful inflammation.
One location where the cytokine Interleukin-1 can cause harmful inflammation and arthritis is within the joints. Modern science has given us a way to protect against this damaging cytokine. Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP) is a protein that blocks the uptake of Interleukin-1 inside of joints, preventing much of the damaging inflammation and resulting pain. The IRAP is present in all equine blood and it is from the patient’s own bloodstream that it is harvested. The blood is then incubated, centrifuged and the IRAP reclaimed in order to inject the concentrated IRAP into an affected joint.
This technology has many applications, but is especially suited for those horses in which either traditional steroid treatment is ineffective or not desirable. We now have the technology to produce IRAP in our office and look forward to having another alternative to offer in the care of your horse’s joints.