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Res Vet Sci. 1997 Nov-Dec;63(3):231-7.

ATP loss with exercise in muscle fibres of the gluteus medius of the thoroughbred horse.

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Equine Sports Medicine Centre, Royal Veterinary College, South Mymms, Herts.


Muscle ATP loss with exercise has implications both to the causes of fatigue and muscle damage. To study this at the single muscle fibre level, five trained thoroughbred horses performed consecutive 90 second gallops on an inclined treadmill followed by a final gallop to fatigue. Biopsies of the m. gluteus medius were taken at rest, post-exercise and during 24 hour recovery. Blood lactate was 20.0 mmol litre-1 or more, and plasma NH3 300-800 mumol litre-1, following the final gallop. Minimal changes occurred in the plasma markers, CK and AST. ATP loss with exercise was 32.2 (SD 12.2) per cent. Following exercise single fibre ATP contents showed a much broader distribution than at rest, with contents in some close to zero. Following five and 24 hour recovery, however, frequency distribution curves were close to those seen at rest. There was no difference in the ATP contents of types I, IIa and IIb at rest of with exercise or recovery. The results pointed to marked heterogeneity between individual fibres in their biochemical response with exercise, independent of fibre type.

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