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Objective—To determine effects of exercise performed while breathing cold air on expression of cytokines and influx of neutrophils in airways of horses.

Animals—9 adult horses.

Procedures—In a crossover study, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was obtained 24 and 48 hours after each of 2 submaximal exercise sessions performed by horses while breathing warm (25°C) or cold (−5°C) air. Total and differential nucleated cell counts were determined for each BALF sample. Relative mRNA expression of cytokines in BALF cells was quantified by use of a reverse transcription–PCR assay.

Results—Horses had a modest but significant influx of neutrophils into the airways 24 hours after a single exercise session while breathing cold air. No other cell types were increased at 24 or 48 hours after exercising while breathing cold air. Continued increases in expression of cytokines interleukin (IL)-5 and-10 as well as proinflammatory cytokines IL-1, -6, and -8 were detected 24 hours after exercising while breathing cold air. Forty-eight hours after exercising while breathing cold air, expression of IL-10 was still higher than that for IL-10 after horses exercised while breathing warm air. Expression of tumor necrosis factor-α was significantly increased at 48 hours after exercising while breathing cold air.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure of intrapulmonary airways to cold air alters immunologic responses of horses for at least 48 hours. The increased expression of cytokines that suppress cell-mediated immunity may predispose athletes to viral infections of the respiratory tract following exercise in cold weather.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the impact of successive days of endurance exercise on select serum chemistry values in conditioned Alaskan sled dogs.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—10 conditioned Alaskan sled dogs.

Procedures—All dogs ran 160 km/d for 5 consecutive days. Serum was obtained prior to exercise and immediately after each exercise run; all samples were obtained before dogs were fed. Serum electrolyte, mineral, protein, total bilirubin, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and cardiac troponin-I concentrations and serum alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransfer-ase, creatine kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase activities were measured. Data were analyzed by means of analysis of covariance for a randomized complete block design with dog as a blocking variable, time as a covariate, and distance run as the treatment of interest. Least square mean values were compared with values obtained prior to exercise, and linear and quadratic contrasts were examined.

Results—Serum globulin concentration was low prior to exercise (mean ± SD, 2.2 ± 0.3g/dL) and progressively decreased as exercise continued. Exercise was associated with increases in serum chloride, urea nitrogen, and cardiac troponin-I concentrations and serum alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase activities and with pro-gressive decreases in serum potassium, total protein, and albumin concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that multiple successive days of endurance exercise resulted in mild aberrations in serum chemistry variables in conditioned sled dogs. Changes likely reflected the metabolic stresses of prolonged endurance exercise as well as dietary composition. Hypoglobulinemia in resting, conditioned sled dogs may reflect the immunosuppressive or catabolic effects of intense endurance training.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association