Exercise-induced changes in the level of total protein and its fractions in the blood of horses involved in recreational horseback riding

DOI: 10.32900/2312-8402-2020-124-35-46

Halyna Tkachenko,
Ph.D., D.Sc.,
Natalia Kurhaluk,
Doctor of Biological Sciences,
Institute of Biology and Environmental Protection, Pomeranian University in Słupsk, Poland,
Tkachova Irina,
Doctor of Science, Senior Researcher,
Institute of Animal Science of the NAAS

Keywords: horses, recreational horseback riding, Pomeranian region (Poland), training session, total protein, protein fractions, albumins, globulins, albumin to globulin ratio (AGR)


The aim of the current study was to do the analysis of the total protein and its fraction in the blood samples of horses, which are involved in recreational horseback riding in the Pomeranian region (Pomeranian Voivodship, northern Poland).
Thirteen healthy adult horses from the Pomeranian region in Poland (Strzelinko village, N54°30´48.0´´ E16°57´44.9´´), aged 9.5±2.4 years, including 5 Hucul ponies, 2 Thoroughbred horses, 2 Anglo-Arabian horses, and 4 horses of unknown breed, were used in the current study. Training started at 10:00 AM, lasted 1 hour, and consisted of a ride of cross country by the walking (5 min), the trotting (15 min), the walking (10 min), the trotting (10 min), the walking (5 min), the galloping (5 min), and the walking (10 min). Blood samples were taken from the jugular veins of the animals in the morning time, 90 minutes after feeding, while the horses were in the stables (between 8:30 and 10 AM), and immediately after the exercise session (between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM). To obtain serum, the blood was collected in plain tubes without anticoagulants. Blood was stored in tubes with K3-EDTA and held on ice until centrifugation at 3,000g for 15 minutes. The plasma was removed. The total protein and its fractions were measured at +23°C by the biuret method with the use of commercially available reagents and a compact semi-automated analyzer RX Monza (Randox Laboratories LTD., UK) according to the procedures described by the manufacturer. The biuret method is the most widely used colorimetric method for the determination of the total protein concentration in serum because of its simplicity, precision, and accuracy. The absorbance of each sample was measured in duplicate. Results are expressed as mean ± S.E.M. All variables were tested for normal distribution using the Kholmogorov-Smirnov test (p>0.05). To find significant differences (significance level, p<0.05) between at the rest and after exercise, the Wilconson signed-rank test was applied to the data. All statistical analyses were performed using STATISTICA 8.0 software (StatSoft, Krakow, Poland).
The total protein level in the blood of horses exhibited a non-significant increase (by 7.1%, p>0.05) immediately after exercise as compared to the resting period. Also, the albumin and globulin levels in the blood of horses were non-significantly increased by 5.9% (р>0.05) and 8.1% (р>0.05) after the training sessions. There were no significant differences in serum albumin/globulin ratio between the resting period and after exercise (0.997±0.09 vs. 0.977±0.08).
The results of our current study showed that exercise has a statistically non-significant effect on the total proteins and their fractions in equine serum. The fractions and the A/G ratio were within the range of values obtained in horses in other studies.
Thus, it was found that total protein and its fractions were increased in horses after training, and this increase was insignificant. This increase has a direct correlation with exercise. In this paper, it is shown that training can change the physiology and affect the biochemistry of hematobiochemical blood parameters in horses subjected to physical exertion.


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