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Acute Phase Responses of Different Positions of High-Goal (Elite) Polo Ponies


The aim of this study was to investigate the acute phase response (APR) in 15 horses byquantifying physiological venous blood variables and serum acute phase proteins (APP)at 5 minutes and 6 and 12 hours after a training match of high-goal polo. The horses weredivided into three experimental groups based on their team positions, including defense(n ¼ 6), midfield (n ¼ 5), and attack (n ¼ 4). Serum proteinograms were obtained bysodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Data wereevaluated using analysis of variance for repeated measures. The match representeda high-intensity stimulus for all positions. Defenders appeared to use the anaerobicpathway more than the other positions, as shown by their lower pH and greater lactatemia.Alterations in muscle membrane permeability were observed in all horses, as seenby the increase in serum creatine kinase activity without a correlation with APR.Significant elevations in total serum protein, albumin, ceruloplasmin, haptoglobin, alpha-1 antitrypsin, and 23-kDa protein were seen only during the course of the physicalexertion of the match, although there were no differences in these values among positionsof the team. After 6 hours of the match, the concentration of transferrin declined,whereas that of alpha-1 acid glycoprotein remained unaltered at all assessed times.These results demonstrated that the defenders required the most use of the anaerobicpathway during the match, and that equestrian polo exercise triggers an acute phaseresponse of relatively short duration; this APR is characterized as noninflammatory, asAPR appears to be a physiological alteration related to the stress inherent in physicalexercise. (AU)

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