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Evaluation of exercise-induced changes in concentrations of C-reactive protein and serum biochemical values in sled dogs completing a long-distance endurance race

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  • 1 Departments of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 2 Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 3 Double Diamond Veterinary Services, 2401 Riata Rd, Bozeman, MT 59718.
  • | 4 Double Diamond Veterinary Services, 2401 Riata Rd, Bozeman, MT 59718.
  • | 5 Sports Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 6 Sports Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University Auburn, AL 36849.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether long-distance endurance exercise in sled dogs causes increases in serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) and whether such increases are correlated with other markers of the exercise-induced acute-phase response

Animals—25 sled dogs.

Procedures—Serum was obtained from 25 sled dogs approximately 48 hours before and immediately after completing a race of 557 km. Serum was analyzed to determine concentrations of CRP and interleukin (IL)-6, and serum biochemical analysis (and iron homeostasis analysis) also was performed.

Results—CRP concentrations increased significantly from a mean ± SD concentration of 22.4 ± 16.3 μg/mL before racing to a mean of 263.3 ± 103.8 μg/mL immediately after racing Serum IL-6 concentrations were unchanged; however, there was a modest but significant correlation (r = 0.50) between the increase in CRP concentration and an overall decrease in serum albumin concentration, which suggested an inverse relationship between hepatic synthesis of the 2 proteins. Differences in CRP concentrations among teams of dogs revealed that concentrations before racing may be influenced by previous episodes of exercise. Serum iron concentration had only a mild decrease, which may have been attributable to iron-rich diets consumed by the dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CRP concentrations may serve as a potential marker for exercise-induced inflammation. The exact amount of exercise required to induce such a response is unknown, but dogs apparently have a more robust acute-phase response than do humans. Clinical evaluation of CRP concentrations must account for physical activity when those concentrations are used as a potential marker for systemic inflammation. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1207-1213)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether long-distance endurance exercise in sled dogs causes increases in serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) and whether such increases are correlated with other markers of the exercise-induced acute-phase response

Animals—25 sled dogs.

Procedures—Serum was obtained from 25 sled dogs approximately 48 hours before and immediately after completing a race of 557 km. Serum was analyzed to determine concentrations of CRP and interleukin (IL)-6, and serum biochemical analysis (and iron homeostasis analysis) also was performed.

Results—CRP concentrations increased significantly from a mean ± SD concentration of 22.4 ± 16.3 μg/mL before racing to a mean of 263.3 ± 103.8 μg/mL immediately after racing Serum IL-6 concentrations were unchanged; however, there was a modest but significant correlation (r = 0.50) between the increase in CRP concentration and an overall decrease in serum albumin concentration, which suggested an inverse relationship between hepatic synthesis of the 2 proteins. Differences in CRP concentrations among teams of dogs revealed that concentrations before racing may be influenced by previous episodes of exercise. Serum iron concentration had only a mild decrease, which may have been attributable to iron-rich diets consumed by the dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CRP concentrations may serve as a potential marker for exercise-induced inflammation. The exact amount of exercise required to induce such a response is unknown, but dogs apparently have a more robust acute-phase response than do humans. Clinical evaluation of CRP concentrations must account for physical activity when those concentrations are used as a potential marker for systemic inflammation. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1207-1213)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Wakshlag (jw37@cornell.edu).

Supported by the Richard G. and Dorothy A. Metcalf Auburn Sports Medicine Program.