Equine Cushing's disease (ECD) or Equine pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), is one of the most common equine endocrinopathies. It is a progressive and slow condition that is due to an affection of the Intermedium Lobe of the Pituitary Gland. The condition in horses is caused by adenomas, hypertrophy or hiperplasia in the intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland. The melanotropes located in the pars intermedia synthesize the precursor protein, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), but they cleave it into different hormones: a- and b-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), corticotrophin- like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP), and bendorphin- related peptides (bEND) and ACTH. Affectes horses have an incresed circulating concentration of POMChormonal derived peptides. The hormonal desbalance, originated by them finally cause a variety of clinical signs, inside which the most important are: excessive growth of the hair or hirsutismo, recurrent and chronic laminitis, loss of the muscular mass and susceptibility increased to the infections.
Keywords: Endocrinopathie, Pituitary Gland ,POMC, ACTH, hirsutism.