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|Bottoms, G. D., Roesel, O. F., Rausch, F. D., & Akins, E. L. (1972). Circadian variation in plasma cortisol and corticosterone in pigs and mares. Am J Vet Res, 33(4), 785–790.|
Cayado, P., Munoz-Escassi, B., Dominguez, C., Manley, W., Olabarri, B., Sanchez de la Muela, M., et al. (2006). Hormone response to training and competition in athletic horses. Equine Vet J Suppl, (36), 274–278.
Abstract: REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: It is recognised that the amount of psychological stress that an animal encounters determines the degree of response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In human athletes, the added emotive stress of competition is an important element in the adrenal response. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of show-jumping as well as dressage on stress levels by comparing horses' stress response at a horse show compared to their familiar home. METHODS: Fifty-one horses involved in competition were used. EDTA blood samples were collected before exercise, upon arrived to the schooling area (control), and k over a jump or dressage course. After sampling, plasma was separated and stored at -80 degrees C until determinations of cortisol and ACTH were performed. Fourteen healthy horses not involved in competition were used as control group. RESULTS: Competition induced a significant increase in cortisol and ACTH responses in both, jumping and dressage horses and this effect was more apparent in dressage horses. When horses were most experienced, cortisol and ACTH responses were much lower. CONCLUSION: This study shows that competition elicits a classic physiological stress response in horses and that different training programmes induce different responses. It suggests that horses involved in competition can provide a good model to study the exercise-induced stress response.
Keywords: Adrenocorticotropic Hormone/*blood; Animals; Case-Control Studies; *Horses/blood/physiology/psychology; Hydrocortisone/*blood; Physical Conditioning, Animal/*physiology; Sports; *Stress, Psychological
Marc, M., Parvizi, N., Ellendorff, F., Kallweit, E., & Elsaesser, F. (2000). Plasma cortisol and ACTH concentrations in the warmblood horse in response to a standardized treadmill exercise test as physiological markers for evaluation of training status. J. Anim Sci., 78(7), 1936–1946.
Abstract: Reliable physiological markers for performance evaluation in sport horses are missing. To determine the diagnostic value of plasma ACTH and cortisol measurements in the warmblood horse, 10 initially 3-yr-old geldings of the Hannovarian breed were either exposed to a training schedule or served as controls. During experimental Phase 1, horses were group-housed, and half of the horses were trained for 20 wk on a high-speed treadmill. During Phase 2, groups were switched and one group was trained for 10 wk as during Phase 1, whereas the control group was confined to boxes. During Phase 3 horses were initially schooled for riding. Thereafter, all horses were regularly schooled for dressage and jumping, and half of the horses received an additional endurance training for 24 wk. During all phases horses were exposed at regular intervals to various standardized treadmill exercise tests. During and after the tests frequent blood samples were taken from an indwelling jugular catheter for determination of ACTH and cortisol. Treadmill exercise increased both hormones. Maximum ACTH concentrations were recorded at the end of exercise, and maximum cortisol levels were recorded 20 to 30 min later. Except for one test there were no differences in ACTH levels between trained horses and controls. There was no significant effect of training on the cortisol response (net increase) to treadmill exercise in any of the tests during Phase 1. During Phase 2 higher cortisol responses were recorded in controls than in trained horses (P < .05) after 10 wk of training (controls confined to boxes). During Phase 3 plasma cortisol responses were also higher in controls than in trained horses (P < .05 after 6, 18, and 24, P < or = .07 after 12 wk of training) when the inclination of the treadmill was 5%, but not at 3%. There was no overlap in net cortisol responses at 30 min between trained and untrained horses. An ACTH application after 24 wk of training resulted in higher cortisol responses in controls than in trained horses (P < or = .05), without any overlap between the groups at 30 min after ACTH. Plasma cortisol responses to either treadmill exercise or ACTH injection may be a reliable physiological marker for performance evaluation. Prerequisites are sufficient differences in training status and sufficient intensity of exercise test conditions.
Keywords: Adrenocorticotropic Hormone/*blood/diagnostic use; Animals; Catheterization/veterinary; Exercise Test; Horses/*blood; Hydrocortisone/*blood; Male; *Physical Conditioning, Animal
Villani, M., Cairoli, F., Kindahl, H., Galeati, G., Faustini, M., Carluccio, A., et al. (2006). Effects of mating on plasma concentrations of testosterone, cortisol, oestrone sulphate and 15-ketodihydro-PGF2alpha in stallions. Reprod Domest Anim, 41(6), 544–548.
Abstract: Very little information is available regarding the physiological mechanisms involved in the normal sexual activity in the stallion and, in particular, the endocrine control of reproduction is still not clearly understood. This experiment was designed to determine the short-term effect of sexual stimulation on plasma concentrations of testosterone, cortisol, oestrone sulphate and 15-ketodihydro-PGF(2alpha) in stallions. Semen samples were collected from 10 lighthorse stallions of proven fertility using a Missouri model artificial vagina. At the same time, blood samples were collected from the jugular vein with heparinized tubes, 20 and 10 min before oestrous mare exposure, at exposure and 10, 20, 30 min after dismounting. Testosterone concentrations showed a sharp rise 10 min after mating (p < 0.001), reached a plateau, and then showed a further increase 30 min after mating (p < 0.001). Cortisol concentrations increased 10 min after mating (p < 0.001) and remained at high levels in the subsequent samples taken. A peak of oestrone sulphate was observed 10 min after mating (p < 0.001). 15-Ketodihydro-PGF(2alpha) concentrations decreased rapidly at the moment of the exposure of the stallions to an oestrous mare (p < 0.05), returned to pre-mating concentrations and then decreased again 30 min after mating (p < 0.05).
Keywords: Animals; Dinoprost/*analogs & derivatives/blood; Ejaculation/physiology; Estrone/*analogs & derivatives/blood; Horses/*blood/physiology; Hydrocortisone/*blood; Male; Sexual Behavior, Animal/*physiology; Testosterone/*blood