Your Horse’s Cartilage Has Bling
While these crystals might not have the same financial value as precious stone crystals, they do appear to have significant mechanical value to the horse. These crystals exist in equine cartilage cells’ mitochondria—responsible for each cell’s energy production and respiration—and they can grow so big that they stretch the mitochondria’s size, sometimes to the length of the entire cell.
Austrian and German researchers say these intramitochondrial crystals are unique: So far, horses are the only species found to have crystals in their cartilage cell mitochondria. And this, they said, could be related to horse joints’ exceptional capacity to withstand great levels of mechanical stress.
“At the moment we do not have any indication that there is a pathologic relation or harmful influence causing these protein aggregations, and the investigated horses were absolutely healthy,” said Dirk Barnewitz, DrMedVet, of the Research Centre for Medical Technics and Biotechnology, in Bad Langensalza,
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