Metabolic responses to ammonium acetate infusion in exercising horses.

P. Miller-Graber, L. Lawrence, M. Fisher, K. Bump, J. Foreman, E. Kurcz

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7 Scopus citations


The relationship between elevated plasma ammonia (NH3) levels, fatigue development and muscle metabolism were examined in horses during a submaximal fatigue test. Eight Quarter Horse mares were intravenously infused prior to exercise with either sodium acetate (control) or ammonium acetate (AMINF), and exercised to fatigue on an 11% grade treadmill, carrying 27 kg of lead. Time to fatigue was not different (P greater than 0.05) between groups. Intramuscular NH3 and lactate increased (P less than 0.001) during exercise; however, the treatment did not (P greater than 0.05) affect either. A treatment by exercise interaction (P less than 0.01) occurred for plasma NH3. The reciprocal relationship between changes in plasma and intramuscular alanine (ala) and glutamate (glu) indicated activation of the glucose-alanine cycle. Plasma glutamine (gln) increased (P less than 0.001) during exercise; however intramuscular gln was not (P greater than 0.05) altered. The excretion of urea-N was depressed as a result of exercise while the orotic acid/creatinine ratio did not (P greater than 0.05) change. The amino acids and urinary metabolites were not (P greater than 0.05) affected by treatment. These results did not show any metabolic evidence for a role of increased plasma NH3 levels in fatigue development. However this study did provide insight into other aspects of nitrogen metabolism during exercise in the horse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-410
Number of pages14
JournalThe Cornell veterinarian
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1991


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