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Muscle energetics in exercising horses

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 2007

Dominique-Marie Votion*
Affiliation:
Equine Teaching Hospital, University of Liege, Liège, Belgium Equine European Centre of Mont-Le-Soie, University of Liege, Liège, Belgium
Rachel Navet
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Bioenergetics, University of Liege, Liège, Belgium
Véronique Anne Lacombe
Affiliation:
College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Francis Sluse
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Bioenergetics, University of Liege, Liège, Belgium
Birgitta Essén-Gustavsson
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
Kenneth William Hinchcliff
Affiliation:
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia
José-Luis L. Rivero
Affiliation:
Muscle Biology Laboratory, Department of Comparative Anatomy and Pathological Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain
Didier Serteyn
Affiliation:
Equine Teaching Hospital, University of Liege, Liège, Belgium
Stephanie Valberg
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN, USA
*
*Corresponding author: dominique.votion@ulg.ac.be
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Abstract

An optimally functional musculoskeletal system is crucial for athletic performance and even minor perturbations can limit athletic ability. The introduction of the muscle biopsy technique in the 1970s created a window of opportunity to examine the form and function of equine skeletal muscle. Muscle histochemical and biochemical analyses have allowed characterization of the properties of equine muscle fibres and their influence on, and adaptation to, physical exertion. Analyses of exercise responses during standardized treadmill exercise and field studies have illustrated the role of cellular energetics in determining athletic suitability for specific disciplines, mechanisms of fatigue, adaptations to training and the affect of diet on metabolic responses. This article provides a review of the tools available to study muscle energetics in the horse, discusses the muscular metabolic pathways and summarizes the energetics of exercise.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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