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Effects on plasma endotoxin and eicosanoid concentrations and serum cytokine activities in horses competing in a 48-, 83-, or 159-km endurance ride under similar terrain and weather conditions

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  • 1 Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 2 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 3 Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 4 Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 5 Present address is the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  • | 6 Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Abstract

Objective—To determine plasma endotoxin concentration in horses competing in a 48-, 83-, or 159-km endurance race and its importance with regard to physical, hematologic, or serum and plasma biochemical variables.

Animals—83 horses.

Procedure—Weight and rectal temperature measurements and blood samples were obtained before, during, and after exercise. Blood samples were analyzed for plasma endotoxin concentration; serum antiendotoxin antibody titers; thromboxane B2 (TxB2) and 6- keto-prostaglandin F (PGF) concentrations; tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) activities; WBC, plasma protein, lactate, serum electrolyte, and calcium concentrations; PCV; and creatine kinase activity.

Results—Detection of plasma endotoxin increased during exercise for horses competing at all distances but occurred more frequently in the 48- and 83-km groups. Plasma lactate concentration was significantly greater when endotoxin was concurrently detected. Endotoxin in plasma was not significantly associated with success of race completion. Plasma TxB2 and PGF concentrations and serum IL-6 activity significantly increased with exercise. Horses that had an excellent fitness level (as perceived by their owners) had greater decreases in serum antiendotoxin antibody titers during exercise than did horses perceived as less fit. In horses with better finish times, TxB2 and PGF concentrations were significantly greater and TNFα activity was significantly less than that of slower horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Endotoxemia developed during endurance racing, but was significantly correlated with increased plasma lactate concentration and not with other variables indicative of endotoxemia. Plasma TxB2 and PGF concentrations and serum TNFα activity may be associated with performance success. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:754–761)

Abstract

Objective—To determine plasma endotoxin concentration in horses competing in a 48-, 83-, or 159-km endurance race and its importance with regard to physical, hematologic, or serum and plasma biochemical variables.

Animals—83 horses.

Procedure—Weight and rectal temperature measurements and blood samples were obtained before, during, and after exercise. Blood samples were analyzed for plasma endotoxin concentration; serum antiendotoxin antibody titers; thromboxane B2 (TxB2) and 6- keto-prostaglandin F (PGF) concentrations; tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) activities; WBC, plasma protein, lactate, serum electrolyte, and calcium concentrations; PCV; and creatine kinase activity.

Results—Detection of plasma endotoxin increased during exercise for horses competing at all distances but occurred more frequently in the 48- and 83-km groups. Plasma lactate concentration was significantly greater when endotoxin was concurrently detected. Endotoxin in plasma was not significantly associated with success of race completion. Plasma TxB2 and PGF concentrations and serum IL-6 activity significantly increased with exercise. Horses that had an excellent fitness level (as perceived by their owners) had greater decreases in serum antiendotoxin antibody titers during exercise than did horses perceived as less fit. In horses with better finish times, TxB2 and PGF concentrations were significantly greater and TNFα activity was significantly less than that of slower horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Endotoxemia developed during endurance racing, but was significantly correlated with increased plasma lactate concentration and not with other variables indicative of endotoxemia. Plasma TxB2 and PGF concentrations and serum TNFα activity may be associated with performance success. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:754–761)