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Can Vet J. 2015 Dec;56(12):1252-6.

Evaluation of plasma inflammatory cytokine concentrations in racing sled dogs.

Author information

Surgical Services, Friendship Hospital for Animals, 4105 Brandywine Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20016, USA (von Pfeil); Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1314, USA (von Pfeil); Department of Biomedical Sciences (Cummings), Department of Clinical Sciences (Loftus, Levine, Wakshlag), Department of Population Medicine (Mann), College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA; Annamaet Petfoods, Sellersville, Pennsylvania, USA (Downey); The Traveling Vet LLC, Loveland, Colorado, USA (Griffitts).


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In human athletes significant changes in cytokine concentrations secondary to exercise have been observed. This prospective study evaluated the effect of a multi-day stage sled dog race on plasma concentrations of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and interleukin-10 (IL-10). Samples from 20 dogs were harvested prior to and on days 2 and 8 of an 8-day race. Exercise resulted in significantly decreased TNF-α and IL-8 as well as increases of MCP-1, IL-6, and IL-10 concentrations (P-value between 0.01 and < 0.0001 for all parameters). The proportion of values for IL-2 that were below the detection limit increased from 40% on day 0 to 75% on day 2 and decreased on day 8 to 40% (P = 0.04). Racing sled dogs show cytokine-concentration changes that are different from those in humans.

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