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Am J Vet Res. 1994 Jul;55(7):1020-7.

Concentrations of amino acids in plasma and whole blood in response to food deprivation and refeeding in healthy two-day-old foals.

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Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616-8741.


Concentrations of amino acids in plasma and whole blood in response to 10 hours of food deprivation were determined in healthy 2-day-old foals (n = 8) and were compared with control values in foals of the same age (n = 8) allowed free access to suckle. In addition, response of concentrations of amino acids in plasma to 15 minutes of free-access suckling was determined at the end of the 10-hour period in both groups. Response of 13 amino acids in plasma of food-deprived foals was significantly (P < 0.05) different, compared with that in control foals. Concentrations of 3 amino acids (alanine, glycine, and phenylalanine) in plasma increased significantly (P < 0.05), whereas concentrations of 7 amino acids (asparagine, citrulline, histidine, ornithine, proline, tryptophan, and tyrosine) in plasma decreased significantly (P < 0.05) during food deprivation. Response of concentrations of 2 amino acids (glycine and histidine) in whole blood was significantly (P < 0.05) different from that in plasma of food-deprived vs control foals. Refeeding of food-deprived foals resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) different responses for concentrations of all but 2 amino acids (cystine and taurine) in plasma, compared with responses in controls. Changes in concentrations of amino acids in plasma and whole blood of foals in response to food deprivation are similar to those in foals with septicemia and in children with grade 1 or 2 kwashiorkor. The significantly different response of food-deprived foals to refeeding may be attributable to increased protein intake or altered physiologic state.

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