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  • Author or Editor: Katarina E. Nostell x
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Objective—To determine whether repeated oral administration of glucose and leucine during the period immediately after intense exercise would increase the release of insulin and thereby enhance glycogen synthesis in horses.

Animals—12 Standardbred horses.

Procedures—In a crossover study design, after glycogen-depleting exercise, horses received oral boluses of glucose (1 g/kg at 0, 2, and 4 hours) and leucine (0.1 g/kg at 0 and 4 hours) or boluses of water (10 mL/kg at 0, 2, and 4 hours; control treatment). Blood samples for determination of glucose, insulin, and leucine concentrations were collected prior to and during a 6-hour period immediately after exercise. Biopsy specimens of a gluteus muscle were obtained before and immediately after exercise and at 3, 6, and 24 hours after exercise for measurement of glycogen concentration.

Results—When glucose and leucine were administered to the horses, plasma insulin concentration was significantly higher during the 6 hours immediately after exercise than it was when water was administered to the horses. Serum glucose concentration during the 4 hours immediately after exercise was significantly higher when glucose and leucine were administered than the serum glucose concentration when water was administered. Muscle glycogen concentrations did not differ between the 2 treatments during the 24 hours after exercise.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Synthesis of muscle glycogen after intense intermittent exercise was not enhanced by oral boluses of glucose and leucine after exercise despite pronounced increases in plasma insulin and serum glucose concentrations.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To quantify insulin sensitivity and monitor glucose, insulin, and lipid concentrations in a group of moderately insulin-resistant horses during induction of obesity by use of a forage diet supplemented with fat and during subsequent turnout to pasture.

ANIMALS 9 adult Standardbred mares (11 to 20 years old).

PROCEDURES Weight gain of horses was induced during 22 weeks by use of a forage diet supplemented with fat fed in gradually increasing amounts, followed by feeding of that fat-supplemented diet at 2.5 times the daily maintenance requirements. Horses were then turned out to pasture. Insulin sensitivity was measured with the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp method before and after weight gain and after 4 weeks at pasture. Body weight, body condition score, and cresty neck score as well as fasting and postprandial concentrations of plasma insulin, plasma glucose, serum triglyceride, and serum nonesterified fatty acids were measured during the study.

RESULTS Body weight typically increased by 10%, and body condition score (scale, 1 to 9) increased by > 1.5 from the start to the end of the weight-gain period. There was no difference in insulin sensitivity or metabolic clearance rate of insulin during the weight-gain period. Four weeks at pasture generally improved insulin sensitivity and metabolic clearance rate of insulin by 54% and 32%, respectively, but there was no change in body weight or body condition score.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings indicated that dietary composition played a more important role than did short-term weight gain on alterations in insulin sensitivity of horses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research