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Inflammatory responses to three modes of intense exercise in Standardbred mares – a pilot study

  • E D Lamprecht (a1), C A Bagnell (a1) and C A Williams (a1)

The objective of this study was to compare exercise-induced inflammatory responses in horses undergoing three different treadmill exercise tests. Mares completed a graded exercise test (GXT), an interval exercise test (IET) and a repeated sprint exercise test (RSET). Blood and synovial fluid samples were taken 24 h before (PRE) exercise, 20–30 min, 2 and 24 h following exercise (REC). Blood was analysed for total protein, haematocrit and total nitrite concentration. Pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine transcripts were measured in whole blood using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Synovial fluid was analysed for total nitrite. Mares spent more time at greater than 90% of their maximum heart rate during the RSET than they did for either the GXT or IET. There was an effect of exercise test (P < 0.0001) and exercise test by sample interaction (P = 0.010) for plasma total nitrite. Pro-inflammatory cytokine transcripts and plasma total protein were elevated (P < 0.05) after exercise and there was a higher (P < 0.0001) nitrite concentration in tibiotarsal joints compared with radiocarpal joints. As hypothesised, the higher-intensity exercise test (RSET) resulted in greater nitric oxide responses as well as markers of exercise intensity compared with less intense exercise tests (IET, GXT).

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