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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare effects of training on conventional and underwater treadmills on fiber properties and metabolic responses of the superficial digital flexor (SDF) and gluteal muscles to high-speed exercise in horses.

SAMPLE 6 unconditioned Quarter Horse–type horses.

PROCEDURES 6 horses were walked on underwater and conventional treadmills for 5 d/wk (maximum, 40 min/d) for 8 weeks in a randomized crossover design (60-day detraining period). Horses underwent a standardized exercise test (SET) at high speed before and after training. Analyte concentrations and fiber characteristics were measured in muscle biopsy specimens obtained from horses before and after each SET.

RESULTS Lactate concentration increased 2- to 3-fold in SDF and gluteal muscle after SETs. No training effect was identified on muscle fiber type composition, type II fiber diameter, muscle analyte concentrations, blood lactate concentration, or heart rate responses. Maximum diameters of type I fibers decreased significantly in gluteal muscle with conventional treadmill training and decreased in SDF muscle with both types of training, with maximum diameters greater for horses after underwater versus conventional treadmill training. No change was identified in minimum fiber diameters.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE SETs involving near-maximal exertion resulted in an anaerobic response in SDF and gluteal muscles of horses. Eight weeks of conventional or underwater treadmill training resulted in minor changes in type I muscle fiber sizes, with no effect on muscle metabolic or heart rate responses to SETs. After rehabilitation involving underwater treadmills, training at progressing speeds is recommended for horses to develop the required fitness for speed work.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine concentrations of proglycogen (PG), macroglycogen (MG), glucose, and glucose-6-phosphate (G-6-P) in skeletal muscle of horses with polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) before and after performing light submaximal exercise.

Animals—6 horses with PSSM and 4 control horses.

Procedures—Horses with PSSM completed repeated intervals of 2 minutes of walking followed by 2 minutes of trotting on a treadmill until muscle cramping developed. Four untrained control horses performed a similar exercise test for up to 20 minutes. Serum creatine kinase (CK) activity was measured before and 4 hours after exercise. Concentrations of total glycogen (Gt), PG, MG, G-6-P, free glucose, and lactate were measured in biopsy specimens of gluteal muscle obtained before and after exercise.

Results—Mean serum CK activity was 26 times higher in PSSM horses than in control horses after exercise. Before exercise, muscle glycogen concentrations were 1.5, 2.2, and 1.7 times higher for PG, MG, and Gt, respectively, in PSSM horses, compared with concentrations in control horses. No significant changes in Gt, PG, MG, G-6-P, and lactate concentrations were detected after exercise. However, free glucose concentrations in skeletal muscle increased significantly in PSSM horses after exercise.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of the results suggests that glucose uptake in skeletal muscle is augmented in horses with PSSM after light exercise. There is excessive storage of PG and MG in horses with PSSM, and high concentrations of the 2 glycogen fractions may affect functional interactions between glycogenolytic and glycogen synthetic enzymes and glycosomes.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To characterize clinical findings for polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) in warmblood horses with type 1 PSSM (PSSM1; caused by mutation of the glycogen synthase 1 gene) and type 2 PSSM (PSSM2; unknown etiology).

SAMPLE Database with 3,615 clinical muscle biopsy submissions.

PROCEDURES Reported clinical signs and serum creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities were retrospectively analyzed for horses with PSSM1 (16 warmblood and 430 nonwarmblood), horses with PSSM2 (188 warmblood and 646 nonwarmblood), and warmblood horses without PSSM (278). Lameness examinations were reviewed for 9 warmblood horses with PSSM2. Muscle glycogen concentrations were evaluated for horses with PSSM1 (14 warmblood and 6 nonwarmblood), warmblood horses with PSSM2 (13), and horses without PSSM (10 warmblood and 6 nonwarmblood).

RESULTS Rhabdomyolysis was more common for horses with PSSM1 (12/16 [75%] warmblood and 223/303 [74%] nonwarmblood) and nonwarmblood horses with PSSM2 (221/436 [51%]) than for warmblood horses with PSSM2 (39/147 [27%]). Gait abnormality was more common in warmblood horses with PSSM2 (97/147 [66%]) than in warmblood horses with PSSM1 (1/16 [7%]), nonwarmblood horses with PSSM2 (176/436 [40%]), and warmblood horses without PSSM (106/200 [53%]). Activities of CK and AST were similar in warmblood horses with and without PSSM2. Muscle glycogen concentrations in warmblood and nonwarmblood horses with PSSM1 were significantly higher than concentrations in warmblood horses with PSSM2.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICIAL RELEVANCE Rhabdomyolysis and elevated muscle glycogen concentration were detected in horses with PSSM1 regardless of breed. Most warmblood horses with PSSM2 had stiffness and gait abnormalities with CK and AST activities and muscle glycogen concentrations within reference limits.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate effects of fats with odd and even numbers of carbon atoms on muscle metabolism in exercising horses with polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM).

Animals—8 horses with PSSM (6 females and 2 males; mean ± SD age, 6.3 ± 3.9 years).

Procedures—Isocaloric diets (grain, triheptanoin, corn oil, and high-fat, low-starch [HFLS] feed) were fed for 3 weeks each; horses performed daily treadmill exercise. Grain was fed to establish an exercise target, and HFLS feed was fed as a negative control diet. Daily plasma samples were obtained. For each diet, a 15-minute exercise test was performed, and gluteus medius muscle specimens and blood samples were obtained before and after exercise.

Results—Feeding triheptanoin, compared with the corn oil diet, resulted in exercise intolerance; higher plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity and concentrations of C3:0- and C7:0-acylcarnitine and insulin; and lower concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) and C16:0-, C18:1-, and C18:2-acylcarnitine, without changes in concentrations of plasma glucose or resting muscle substrates and metabolites. Feeding grain induced higher CK activity and insulin concentrations and lower NEFA concentrations than did corn oil or HFLS feed. Feeding grain induced higher glucose concentrations than did triheptanoin and corn oil. In muscle, feeding grain resulted in lower glucose-6-phosphate, higher citrate, and higher postexercise lactate concentrations than did the other diets.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Triheptanoin had detrimental effects, reflecting decreased availability of NEFA, increased insulin stimulation of glycogen synthesis, and potential inhibition of lipid oxidation. Long-chain fats are the best dietetic for PSSM.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine insulin sensitivity, proportions of muscle fiber types, and activities of glycogenolytic and glycolytic enzymes in Belgians with and without polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM).

Animals—10 Quarter Horses (QHs) and 103 Belgians in which PSSM status had been determined.

Procedures—To determine insulin sensitivity, a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp (HEC) technique was used in 5 Belgians with PSSM and 5 Belgians without PSSM. Insulin was infused IV at 3 mU/min/kg for 3 hours, and concentrations of blood glucose and plasma insulin were determined throughout. An IV infusion of glucose was administered to maintain blood glucose concentration at 100 mg/dL. Activities of glycogenolytic and glycolytic enzymes were assessed in snap-frozen biopsy specimens of gluteus medius muscle obtained from 4 Belgians with PSSM and 5 Belgians without PSSM. Percentages of type 1, 2a, and 2b muscle fibers were determined via evaluation of ≥ 250 muscle fibers in biopsy specimens obtained from each Belgian used in the aforementioned studies and from 10 QHs (5 with PSSM and 5 without PSSM).

Results—Belgians with and without PSSM were not significantly different with respect to whole-body insulin sensitivity, muscle activities of glycogenolytic and glycolytic enzymes, or proportions of muscle fiber types. However, Belgians had an increased proportion of type 2a and decreased proportion of type 2b muscle fibers, compared with proportions in QHs, regardless of PSSM status.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—PSSM in Belgians may be attributable to excessive glycogen synthesis rather than decreased glycogen utilization or enhanced glucose uptake into muscle cells.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research