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1.  Repeated post-exercise administration with a mixture of leucine and glucose alters the plasma amino acid profile in Standardbred trotters 
Background
The branched chain amino acid leucine is a potent stimulator of insulin secretion. Used in combination with glucose it can increase the insulin response and the post exercise re-synthesis of glycogen in man. Decreased plasma amino acid concentrations have been reported after intravenous or per oral administration of leucine in man as well as after a single per oral dose in horses. In man, a negative correlation between the insulin response and the concentrations of isoleucine, valine and methionine have been shown but results from horses are lacking. This study aims to determine the effect of repeated per oral administration with a mixture of glucose and leucine on the free amino acid profile and the insulin response in horses after glycogen-depleting exercise.
Methods
In a crossover design, after a glycogen depleting exercise, twelve Standardbred trotters received either repeated oral boluses of glucose, 1 g/kg body weight (BW) at 0, 2 and 4 h with addition of leucine 0.1 g/kg BW at 0 and 4 h (GLU+LEU), or repeated boluses of water at 0, 2 and 4 h (CON). Blood samples for analysis of glucose, insulin and amino acid concentrations were collected prior to exercise and over a 6 h post-exercise period. A mixed model approach was used for the statistical analyses.
Results
Plasma leucine, isoleucine, valine, tyrosine and phenylalanine concentrations increased after exercise. Post-exercise serum glucose and plasma insulin response were significantly higher in the GLU+LEU treatment compared to the CON treatment. Plasma leucine concentrations increased after supplementation. During the post-exercise period isoleucine, valine and methionine concentrations decreased in both treatments but were significantly lower in the GLU+LEU treatment. There was no correlation between the insulin response and the response in plasma leucine, isoleucine, valine and methionine.
Conclusions
Repeated post-exercise administration with a mixture of leucine and glucose caused a marked insulin response and altered the plasma amino acid profile in horses in a similar manner as described in man. However, the decreases seen in plasma amino acids in horses seem to be related more to an effect of leucine and not to the insulin response as seen in man.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-7
PMCID: PMC3292998  PMID: 22296999
horse; exercise; amino acid; leucine; glucose; insulin
2.  The influence of the PRKAG3 mutation on glycogen, enzyme activities and fibre types in different skeletal muscles of exercise trained pigs 
Background
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays an important role in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle. Many pigs of Hampshire origin have a naturally occurring dominant mutation in the AMPK γ3 subunit. Pigs carrying this PRKAG3 (R225Q) mutation have, compared to non-carriers, higher muscle glycogen levels and increased oxidative capacity in m. longissimus dorsi, containing mainly type II glycolytic fibres. These metabolic changes resemble those seen when muscles adapt to an increased physical activity level. The aim was to stimulate AMPK by exercise training and study the influence of the PRKAG3 mutation on metabolic and fibre characteristics not only in m. longissimus dorsi, but also in other muscles with different functions.
Methods
Eight pigs, with the PRKAG3 mutation, and eight pigs without the mutation were exercise trained on a treadmill. One week after the training period muscle samples were obtained after euthanisation from m. biceps femoris, m. longissimus dorsi, m. masseter and m. semitendinosus. Glycogen content was analysed in all these muscles. Enzyme activities were analysed on m. biceps femoris, m. longissimus dorsi, and m. semitendinosus to evaluate the capacity for phosphorylation of glucose and the oxidative and glycolytic capacity. Fibre types were identified with the myosin ATPase method and in m. biceps femoris and m. longissimus dorsi, immunohistochemical methods were also used.
Results
The carriers of the PRKAG3 mutation had compared to the non-carriers higher muscle glycogen content, increased capacity for phosphorylation of glucose, increased oxidative and decreased glycolytic capacity in m. longissimus dorsi and increased phosphorylase activity in m. biceps femoris and m. longissimus dorsi. No differences between genotypes were seen when fibre type composition was evaluated with the myosin ATPase method. Immunohistochemical methods showed that the carriers compared to the non-carriers had a higher percentage of type II fibres stained with the antibody identifying type IIA and IIX fibres in m. longissimus dorsi and a lower percentage of type IIB fibres in both m. biceps femoris and m. longissimus dorsi. In these muscles the relative area of type IIB fibres was lower in carriers than in non-carriers.
Conclusions
In exercise-trained pigs, the PRKAG3 mutation influences muscle characteristics and promotes an oxidative phenotype to a varying degree among muscles with different functions.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-53-20
PMCID: PMC3076241  PMID: 21435205
3.  Metabolism during anaesthesia and recovery in colic and healthy horses: a microdialysis study 
Background
Muscle metabolism in horses has been studied mainly by analysis of substances in blood or plasma and muscle biopsy specimens. By using microdialysis, real-time monitoring of the metabolic events in local tissue with a minimum of trauma is possible. There is limited information about muscle metabolism in the early recovery period after anaesthesia in horses and especially in the colic horse. The aims were to evaluate the microdialysis technique as a complement to plasma analysis and to study the concentration changes in lactate, pyruvate, glucose, glycerol, and urea during anaesthesia and in the recovery period in colic horses undergoing abdominal surgery and in healthy horses not subjected to surgery.
Methods
Ten healthy university-owned horses given anaesthesia alone and ten client-owned colic horses subjected to emergency abdominal surgery were anaesthetised for a mean (range) of 230 min (193–273) and 208 min (145–300) respectively. Venous blood samples were taken before anaesthesia. Venous blood sampling and microdialysis in the gluteal muscle were performed during anaesthesia and until 24 h after anaesthesia. Temporal changes and differences between groups were analysed with an ANOVA for repeated measures followed by Tukey Post Hoc test or Planned Comparisons.
Results
Lactate, glucose and urea, in both dialysate and plasma, were higher in the colic horses than in the healthy horses for several hours after recovery to standing. In the colic horses, lactate, glucose, and urea in dialysate, and lactate in plasma increased during the attempts to stand. The lactate-to-pyruvate ratio was initially high in sampled colic horses but decreased over time. In the colic horses, dialysate glycerol concentrations varied considerably whereas in the healthy horses, dialysate glycerol was elevated during anaesthesia but decreased after standing. In both groups, lactate concentration was higher in dialysate than in plasma. The correspondence between dialysate and plasma concentrations of glucose, urea and glycerol varied.
Conclusion
Microdialysis proved to be suitable in the clinical setting for monitoring of the metabolic events during anaesthesia and recovery. It was possible with this technique to show greater muscle metabolic alterations in the colic horses compared to the healthy horses in response to regaining the standing position.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-51-10
PMCID: PMC2660341  PMID: 19284560
4.  Metabolic stress-like condition can be induced by prolonged strenuous exercise in athletes 
Few studies have examined energy metabolism during prolonged, strenuous exercise. We wanted therefore to investigate energy metabolic consequences of a prolonged period of continuous strenuous work with very high energy expenditure. Twelve endurance-trained athletes (6 males and 6 females) were recruited. They performed a 7-h bike race on high work-load intensity. Physiological, biochemical, endocrinological, and anthropometric muscular compartment variables were monitored before, during, and after the race. The energy expenditure was high, being 5557 kcal. Work-load intensity (% of VO2 peak) was higher in females (77.7%) than in men (69.9%). Muscular glycogen utilization was pronounced, especially in type I fibres (>90%). Additionally, muscular triglyceride lipolysis was considerably accelerated. Plasma glucose levels were increased concomitantly with an unchanged serum insulin concentration which might reflect an insulin resistance state in addition to proteolytic glyconeogenesis. Increased reactive oxygen species (malondialdehyde (MDA)) were additional signs of metabolic stress. MDA levels correlated with glycogen utilization rate. A relative deficiency of energy substrate on a cellular level was indicated by increased intracellular water of the leg muscle concomitantly with increased extracellular levels of the osmoregulatory amino acid taurine. A kindred nature of a presumed insulin-resistant state with less intracellular availability of glucose for erythrocytes was also indicated by the findings of decreased MCV together with increased MCHC (haemoconcentration) after the race. This strenuous energy-demanding work created a metabolic stress-like condition including signs of insulin resistance and deteriorated intracellular glucose availability leading to compromised fuelling of ion pumps, culminating in a disturbed cellular osmoregulation indicated by taurine efflux and cellular swelling.
doi:10.1080/03009730802579778
PMCID: PMC2852746  PMID: 19242868
Cellular swelling; energy expenditure; lipid peroxidation; metabolism; myocytes; taurine efflux
5.  Blood concentrations of the cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma during experimentally induced swine dysentery 
Background
Knowledge of the cytokine response at infection with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae can help understanding disease mechanisme involved during swine dysentery. Since this knowledge is still limited the aim of the present study was to induce dysentery experimentally in pigs and to monitor the development of important immunoregulatory cytokines in blood collected at various stages of the disease.
Methods
Ten conventional pigs (~23 kg) were orally inoculated with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae B204T. Eight animals developed muco-haemorrhagic diarrhoea with impaired general body condition. Blood was sampled before inoculation and repeatedly during acute dysentery and recovery periods and cytokine levels of IL-1β, IL-6, Il-10, TNF-α and IFN-γ were measured by ELISA.
Results
IL-1β was increased at the beginning of the dysentery period and coincided with the appearance of Serum amyloid A and clinical signs of disease. TNF-α increased in all animals after inoculation, with a peak during dysentery, and IL-6 was found in 3 animals during dysentery and in the 2 animals that did not develop clinical signs of disease. IL-10 was found in all sick animals during the recovery period. IFN-γ was not detected on any occasion.
Conclusion
B. hyodysenteriae inoculation induced production of systemic levels of IL-1β during the dysentery period and increased levels of IL-10 coincided with recovery from dysentery.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-50-32
PMCID: PMC2527004  PMID: 18700003
6.  Metabolism before, during and after anaesthesia in colic and healthy horses 
Background
Many colic horses are compromised due to the disease state and from hours of starvation and sometimes long trailer rides. This could influence their muscle energy reserves and affect the horses' ability to recover. The principal aim was to follow metabolic parameter before, during, and up to 7 days after anaesthesia in healthy horses and in horses undergoing abdominal surgery due to colic.
Methods
20 healthy horses given anaesthesia alone and 20 colic horses subjected to emergency abdominal surgery were anaesthetised for a mean of 228 minutes and 183 minutes respectively. Blood for analysis of haematology, electrolytes, cortisol, creatine kinase (CK), free fatty acids (FFA), glycerol, glucose and lactate was sampled before, during, and up to 7 days after anaesthesia. Arterial and venous blood gases were obtained before, during and up to 8 hours after recovery. Gluteal muscle biopsy specimens for biochemical analysis of muscle metabolites were obtained at start and end of anaesthesia and 1 h and 1 day after recovery.
Results
Plasma cortisol, FFA, glycerol, glucose, lactate and CK were elevated and serum phosphate and potassium were lower in colic horses before anaesthesia. Muscle adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content was low in several colic horses. Anaesthesia and surgery resulted in a decrease in plasma FFA and glycerol in colic horses whereas levels increased in healthy horses. During anaesthesia muscle and plasma lactate and plasma phosphate increased in both groups. In the colic horses plasma lactate increased further after recovery. Plasma FFA and glycerol increased 8 h after standing in the colic horses. In both groups, plasma concentrations of CK increased and serum phosphate decreased post-anaesthesia. On Day 7 most parameters were not different between groups. Colic horses lost on average 8% of their initial weight. Eleven colic horses completed the study.
Conclusion
Colic horses entered anaesthesia with altered metabolism and in a negative oxygen balance. Muscle oxygenation was insufficient during anaesthesia in both groups, although to a lesser extent in the healthy horses. The post-anaesthetic period was associated with increased lipolysis and weight loss in the colic horses, indicating a negative energy balance during the first week post-operatively.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-49-34
PMCID: PMC2206032  PMID: 18001483

Results 1-6 (6)