The development of reproducible models of acute inflammation in which inflammatory heat is easily quantified and from which inflammatory exudate is readily harvested has facilitated studies in the horse of the actions of steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Blockade of the synthesis of eicosanoids and suppression of inflammatory heat by clinical dose rates of NSAIDS suggests a causal link between the two events and provides further evidence for a role of these compounds in acute equine inflammation. The tendency for enolic and carboxylic acids NSAIDS to accumulate in inflammatory exudate may account for the duration of action of these compounds in inhibiting exudate eicosanoid synthesis and the data confirm clinical experiences with these drugs. A novel NSAID which inhibits both cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism, BW540C, and two anti-inflammatory steroids, betamethasone and dexamethasone, have been evaluated in the models of equine inflammation with some interesting and unexpected findings. This paper emphasises the interrelationships between the inflammatory process and the actions and fate of anti-inflammatory drugs.
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