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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Apr;86(4):1170-7.

V(O2) recovery kinetics in the horse following moderate, heavy, and severe exercise.

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  • 1Departments of Anatomy and Physiology and Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66502-5602, USA.


At the onset of exercise, horses exhibit O2 uptake (VO2) kinetics that are qualitatively similar to those of humans. In humans, there is a marked dissymmetry between on- and off-kinetics for VO2. This investigation sought to formally characterize the off-transient (recovery) VO2 kinetics in the horse within the moderate (M), heavy (H), and severe (S) exercise domains. Six horses were run on a high-speed treadmill at M, H, and S exercise intensities (i.e., that speed which yielded approximately 50, 85, 100% peak VO2, respectively, on the maximal incremental test). The time courses for the recovery were modeled by using a three-phase model with a single-exponential (fast component) or double-exponential (fast and slow component) phase 2. The single-exponential phase 2 model provided an excellent fit to the off-transient data, with the exception of one horse in the H domain which was best modeled by a double exponential. The time delay elicited no domain dependency (M, 18.0 +/- 1.0; H, 17.6 +/- 1.1; S, 17.8 +/- 2.0 s; P > 0.05), as was the case for the fast-component time constants (M, 16.3 +/- 2.0 s; H, 13.5 +/- 1.0 s; S, 14.6 +/- 0.3 s; P > 0.05). In the H and S (but not M) domains, the VO2 following resolution of the fast component was elevated above the preexercise baseline (H, 3.0 +/- 1.0 l/min; S, 5.7 +/- 1.1 l/min). This additional postexercise VO2 was correlated to the end-exercise increase in lactate (r = 0.94, P < 0.001) but not the end-exercise pulmonary arterial blood temperature (r = 0.45, P > 0.05). These data indicate that the time delay and subsequent kinetic response of the primary (fast-component) phase of exercise VO2 recovery in the horse is independent of the preceding exercise-intensity domain. However, in the H and S domains, the fast component resolves to an elevated baseline.

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