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Central fatigue and nycthemeral change of serum tryptophan and serotonin in the athletic horse

Author(s): Piccione Giuseppe | Assenza Anna | Fazio Francesco | Percipalle Maurizio | Caola Giovanni

Journal: Journal of Circadian Rhythms
ISSN 1740-3391

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 6;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Abstract Background The serotonergic system is associated with numerous brain functions, including the resetting of the mammalian circadian clock. The synthesis and metabolism of 5-HT in the brain increases in response to exercise and is correlated with high levels of blood-borne tryptophan (TRP). The present investigation was aimed at testing the existence of a daily rhythm of TRP and 5-HT in the blood of athletic horses. Methods Blood samples from 5 Thoroughbred mares were collected at 4-hour intervals for 48 hours (starting at 08:00 hours on day 1 and finishing at 4:00 on day 2) via an intravenous cannula inserted into the jugular vein. Tryptophan and serotonin concentrations were assessed by HPLC. Data analysis was conducted by one-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and by the single cosinor method. Results ANOVA showed a highly significant influence of time both on tryptophan and on serotonin, in all horses, on either day, with p values < 0.0001. Cosinor analysis identified the periodic parameters and their acrophases (expressed in hours) during the 2 days of monitoring. Both parameters studied showed evening acrophases. Conclusion The results showed that serotonin and tryptophan blood levels undergo nycthemeral variation with typical evening acrophases. These results enhance the understanding of the athlete horse's chronoperformance and facilitate the establishment of training programs that take into account the nycthemeral pattern of aminoacids deeply involved in the onset of central fatigue.
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