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J Proteome Res. 2011 Mar 4;10(3):1073-87. doi: 10.1021/pr100862t. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Altered fatty acid metabolism in long duration road transport: An NMR-based metabonomics study in sheep.

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CSIRO Livestock Industries, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Road, St Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia.


The physical, endocrine, and metabolic responses of livestock to road transport have been evaluated by conventional hematological and biochemistry parameters for more than 20 years. However, these measures are relatively insensitive to subtle metabolic adaptations. We applied NMR-based metabonomics to assess system-wide metabolic responses as expressed in urine and serum of a large cohort of animals (n = 80) subjected to 12 and 48 h road transport. The profiling of (1)H NMR spectra revealed that the transported animals experienced altered gut and energy metabolism, muscle catabolism, and possibly a renal response. The animals transported for 48 h exhibited a deeper metabolic response to the transport event and a complex and expanded metabolic trajectory over the 72 h recovery period. Intriguingly, excretion of acyl glycines and a dicarboxylic acid was observed after transport and during recovery, implicating peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation as a metabolic response to transport-induced stress.

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