Gene expression in horses with Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy (RLN)

The University of Melbourne

  • Project code: PRJ-006680

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, July 15, 2011

  • Project completion date: Saturday, June 1, 2013

  • National Priority: HOR-Thoroughbred diseases and parasites


This project is aimed at addressing deficiencies in our current understanding of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN) through application of progressive and versatile laboratory techniques.
Specifically, it is extremely difficult to determine from laryngoscopic evaluation, whether disease will progress to cause a clinical problem. Despite this, there is significant pressure on veterinarians to ‘make this call’ when evaluating yearlings at sale. There is only loose correlation of endoscopic findings and disease pathology, as determined by microscopic studies. Consequently the importance of histopathological disease without clinical signs is not clear.
An alternative method to evaluate these horses is needed to:
1) Increase our understanding of the disease process
2) Accurately identify horses with subclinical disease and evaluate the true risk of progression.


Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

1) Investigate with the use of RT-PCR, the range of gene expression for MyHC in Thoroughbred racehorses with and without clinical signs of RLN.
2) Evaluate variation in MyHC gene expression in immature and young adult Thoroughbreds.
3) Evaluate clinically unaffected horses for expression of a range of additional genes shown to be dysregulated in neurogenic atrophy.