The objective of the present study was to measure plasma endothelin-1 (ET-1) at rest and during exercise in the horse. Six healthy, Standardbred and Thoroughbred mares (5.3±0.8 years; 445.2±13.1 kg) which were unfit, but otherwise accustomed to running on the treadmill, were used in the study. Plasma ET-1 concentrations were measured using a commercially available radioimmunoassay kit. Horses performed three trials: a standing control (CON) trial where blood was collected from the jugular vein every minute for 5 min; a graded exercise test (GXT) where blood samples were collected at the end of each 1 min step of an incremental exercise test; and a 15 min submaximal (60% VO2max) steady-state exercise test (SST) where blood samples were collected 1 min before, immediately after, and at 2 min, 10 min and 20 min post-exercise. Plasma ET-1 concentration did not change (P>0.05) during the CON trial where it averaged 0.18± 0.03 pg/mL (mean±SE). Surprisingly, plasma ET-1 concentration did not change during the GXT trial where it averaged 0.20±0.03 pg/mL. There were no differences between the mean concentrations obtained in either trial (P>0.05). Plasma ET-1 concentrations were, however, significantly elevated (P0.05) by 10 min of recovery. Together, these data may suggest that ET-1 concentrations are altered in response to an exercise challenge. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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