Objective—To examine the changes in monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) 1 and MCT4 content and in indicators of energy metabolism in the gluteus medius muscle (GMM) of Thoroughbreds during growth.
Animals—6 Thoroughbreds (3 males and 3 females).
Procedures—Samples of GMM were obtained when horses were 2, 6, 12, and 24 months old. Muscle proteins were separated via SDS-PAGE; amounts of MCT1 and MCT4 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α content were determined by use of western blotting. Muscle activities of phosphofructokinase and citrate synthase were measured biochemically; lactate dehydrogenase isoenzymes were separated by agarose gel electrophoresis and quantified.
Results—Compared with findings when horses were 2 months old, MCT1 protein content in GMM samples obtained when the horses were 24 months old was significantly higher; however, MCT4 protein content remained unchanged throughout the study period. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α content was significantly increased at 24 months of age and citrate synthase activity was increased at 6 and 24 months of age, compared with findings at 2 months. Phosphofructokinase activity remained unaltered during growth. The percentage contributions of lactate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 isoenzymes to the total amount of all 5 isoenzymes at 12 and 24 months of age were significantly higher than those at 2 months of age.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Changes in protein contents of MCTs and the lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme profile in GMM samples suggested that lactate usage capacity increases with growth and is accompanied by an increase in the oxidative capacity in Thoroughbreds.
OBJECTIVE To quantify fatigue-induced electromyographic changes in hind limb muscles in horses.
ANIMALS 8 Thoroughbreds.
PROCEDURES The left and right hind limb longissimus dorsi, tensor fasciae latae, gluteus medius, and biceps femoris muscles were instrumented for surface electromyography. Hoof strain gauges were attached to confirm stride cycle. Each horse was galloped on a treadmill (grade, 3%) at a constant speed (12.6 to 14.7 m/s) to achieve fatigue after approximately 360 seconds. Before and after this exercise, the horses were trotted at 3.5 m/s. At 30-second intervals during galloping an integrated electromyography (iEMG) value for a stride and the median frequency of muscle discharge (MF) in each limb were measured. The mean of stride frequency (SF), iEMG value, and MF of 5 consecutive strides at the start and end of galloping for the lead and trailing limbs were compared. For trotting, these variables were compared at 60 seconds before and after galloping.
RESULTS The mean ± SD value for SF decreased over time (2.14 ± 0.06 to 2.05 ± 0.07 stride/s). In both the lead and trailing limbs, fatigue decreased the iEMG values of the gluteus medius and biceps femoris muscles but not those of the longissimus dorsi and tensor fasciae latae muscles. The MF did not change for any muscle during galloping with fatigue. The SF, iEMG value, and MF did not change during trotting with fatigue.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Fatigue induced by high-speed galloping decreased the gluteus medius and biceps femoris muscles' iEMG values in Thoroughbreds. Fatigue of these less fatigue-resistant hind limb muscles would affect a horse's speed.
Objective—To investigate the effects of high-intensity training (HIT) on carbohydrate and fat metabolism in Thoroughbreds.
Animals—12 Thoroughbreds (3 to 4 years old; 6 males and 6 females).
Procedures—Horses performed HIT for 18 weeks. They ran at 90% or 110% of maximal oxygen consumption (
o2max) for 3 minutes (5 d/wk) and were subjected to incremental exercise testing (IET) before and after training. Blood samples were collected during IET, and muscle samples were obtained from the gluteus medius muscle immediately after IET. Phosphofructokinase, citrate synthase, and β-3-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase (β-HAD) activities were measured to determine glycolytic and oxidative capacities. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) and fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36) protein contents were detected via western blotting. Metabolome analysis was performed via capillary electrophoresis–electrospray ionization mass spectrometry to measure substrate concentrations related to carbohydrate metabolism.
Results—Peak speed during IET and
o2max increased after HIT. Activities of citrate synthase and β-HAD increased after HIT, whereas phosphofructokinase activity remained unchanged. The PGC-1α and FAT/CD36 protein contents increased after HIT, but plasma lactate concentration and the respiratory exchange ratio decreased after HIT. The plasma free fatty acid concentration increased after HIT, whereas the glucose concentration was not altered. Fructose 1,6-diphosphate, phosphoenolpyruvate, and pyruvate concentrations decreased after HIT.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—HIT caused an increase in oxidative capacity in equine muscle, which suggested that there was a decreased reliance on carbohydrate utilization and a concomitant shift toward fatty acid utilization during intensive exercise.
Objective—To determine whether warm-up exercise at different intensities alters kinetics and total contribution of aerobic power to total metabolic power in subsequent supramaximal exercise in horses.
Procedures—Horses ran at a sprint until fatigued at 115% of maximal oxygen consumption rate (
O2max), beginning at 10 minutes following each of 3 warm-up protocols: no warmup (NoWU), 1 minute at 70%
O2max (moderate-intensity warm-up [MoWU]), or 1 minute at 115%
O2max (high-intensity warm-up [HiWU]). Cardiopulmonary and blood gas variables were measured during exercise.
O2 was significantly higher in HiWU and MoWU than in NoWU throughout the sprint exercise period. Blood lactate accumulation rate in the first 60 seconds was significantly lower in MoWU and HiWU than in NoWU. Specific cardiac output after 60 seconds of sprint exercise was not significantly different among the 3 protocols; however, the arterial mixed-venous oxygen concentration difference was significantly higher in HiWU than in NoWU primarily because of decreased mixed-venous saturation and tension. Run time to fatigue following MoWU was significantly greater than that with NoWU, and there was no difference in time to fatigue between MoWU and HiWU.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—HiWU and MoWU increased peak values for
O2 and decreased blood lactate accumulation rate during the first minute of intense exercise, suggesting a greater use of aerobic than net anaerobic power during this period.
Objective—To evaluate the effects of a single incremental exercise test (IET) on mRNA expression and protein content of monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) 1 and MCT4 in the gluteus medius muscle of Thoroughbreds.
Animals—12 Thoroughbreds (6 males and 6 females; age, 3 to 4 years).
Procedures—Horses underwent an IET before and after 18 weeks of high-intensity exercise training (HIT). Horses were exercised at 90% of maximal oxygen consumption for 3 minutes during the initial 10 weeks of HIT and 110% of maximal oxygen consumption for 3 minutes during the last 8 weeks of HIT. Gluteus medius muscle biopsy specimens were obtained from horses before (baseline), immediately after, and at 3, 6, and 24 hours after the IET.
Results—Expression of MCT1 and MCT4 mRNA was upregulated at 3 and 6 hours after the IET in muscle specimens obtained from horses prior to HIT (untrained horses) and at 6 hours after the IET in muscle specimens obtained from horses after HIT (trained horses). For both untrained and trained horses, MCT1 and MCT4 protein contents were increased at 6 hours after the IET and did not differ at 24 hours after the IET, compared with those at baseline.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that a single IET resulted in transient increases in MCT1 and MCT4 mRNA expression and protein content in untrained and trained horses. These results may be important for the elucidation of exercise-induced alterations in lactate metabolism.
OBJECTIVE To determine cardiorespiratory responses of Thoroughbreds to uphill and downhill locomotion on a treadmill at identical gradients.
ANIMALS 5 highly trained Thoroughbred geldings.
PROCEDURES Thoroughbreds were exercised for 2-minute intervals on a treadmill at 1.7, 3.5, 6.0, 8.0, and 10.0 m/s at a 4% incline, 0% incline (horizontal plane), and 4% decline in random order on different days. Stride frequency, stride length, and cardiopulmonary and O2-transport variables were measured and analyzed by means of repeated-measures ANOVA and Holm-Šidák pairwise comparisons.
RESULTS Horses completed all treadmill exercises with identical stride frequency and stride length. At identical uphill speeds, they had higher (vs horizontal) mass-specific O2 consumption (mean increase, 49%) and CO2 production (mean increase, 47%), cardiac output (mean increase, 21%), heart rate (mean increase, 11%), and Paco2 (mean increase, 1.7 mm Hg), and lower Pao2 (mean decrease, 5.8 mm Hg) and arterial O2 saturation (mean decrease, 1.0%); tidal volume was not higher. Downhill locomotion (vs horizontal) reduced mass-specific O2 consumption (mean decrease, 24%), CO2 production (mean decrease, 23%), and cardiac output (mean decrease, 9%). Absolute energy cost during uphill locomotion increased linearly with speed at approximately twice the rate at which it decreased during downhill locomotion.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that for Thoroughbreds, downhill locomotion resulted in a lower energy cost than did horizontal or uphill locomotion and that this cost changed with speed. Whether eccentric training induces skeletal muscle changes in horses similar to those in humans remains to be determined.
OBJECTIVE To determine whether racehorses undergoing regular exercise at 2 intensities or stall rest during a period of reduced training (detraining) would differentially maintain their cardiopulmonary and oxygen-transport capacities.
ANIMALS 27 Thoroughbreds.
PROCEDURES Horses trained on a treadmill for 18 weeks underwent a period of detraining for 12 weeks according to 1 of 3 protocols: cantering at 70% of maximal rate of oxygen consumption (
o2max) for 3 min/d for 5 d/wk (canter group); walking for 1 h/d for 5 d/wk (walk group); or stall rest (stall group). Standardized treadmill exercise protocols (during which cardiopulmonary and oxygen-transport variables were measured) were performed before and after detraining.
o2max, maximal cardiac output, and maximal cardiac stroke volume of all groups decreased after 12 weeks of detraining with no differences among groups. After detraining, arterial-mixed-venous oxygen concentration difference did not decrease in any group, and maximal heart rate decreased in the walk and stall groups. Run time to exhaustion and speeds eliciting
o2max and maximal heart rate and at which plasma lactate concentration reached 4mM did not change in the canter group but decreased in the walk and stall groups.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Horses following the cantering detraining protocol maintained higher values of several performance variables compared with horses following the walking or stall rest protocols. These results suggested that it may be possible to identify a minimal threshold exercise intensity or protocol during detraining that would promote maintenance of important performance-related variables and minimize reductions in oxygen-transport capacity in horses.