Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Influence of exercise and dietary omega-3 oil supplementation on interleukin 1-Ra serum concentrations in Standardbred horses

Giuseppe Piccione A D , Claudia Giannetto A , Daniele Bruschetta B , Fulvio Congiu A , Francesca Arfuso A and Elisabetta Giudice C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Messina, Polo Universitario dell’Annunziata, Messina, Italy.

B Department of Biochemical Sciences and Morpho-functional Imaging, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria 1, Messina, Italy.

C Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, Viale Ferdinando Stagno d’Alcontres 31, S. Agata – Messina, Italy.

D Corresponding author. Email: giuseppe.piccione@unime.it

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16310
Submitted: 11 May 2016  Accepted: 25 October 2017   Published online: 15 January 2018

Abstract

In this study, the influence of fish oil eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid supplementation on serum interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) concentrations was evaluated in horses subjected to a regular racing program. IL-1Ra is an anti-inflammatory protein. It binds to IL-1 receptors blocking the attachment of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Ten regularly trained Standardbred horses (6 geldings and 4 mares, 4–5 years old, mean bodyweight 500 ± 25 kg) were used. They were randomly divided in two equal groups. The experimental group received a supplementation of 70 mL of fish oil (Omega Horse; NBF Lanes, Milan, Italy) every day for 30 days. The control group did not receive any food supplement. Every 10 days (T0, T10, T20 and T30), the horses took part in a 1600-m harness race, and blood samples were collected from each horse before the race and after the race for the measurement of IL-1Ra serum concentration. The application of general linear model-multivariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed an effect of race and dietary supplementation. The effect of race on serum IL-1Ra concentrations was observed starting from T20. In particular, serum IL-1Ra showed higher values after the race in both groups at T20; whereas at T30, serum IL-1Ra values increased in the control group and decreased in the experimental group. The results obtained in the present study suggest that submaximal exercise induces an increase of IL-1Ra serum concentration after 20 days of a racing program. Fish oil supplementation had a positive effect on post-exercise response of serum IL-1Ra concentration compared with the unsupplemented control group, suggesting dietary fish oil reduces the response to inflammatory processes induced by physical activity.

Additional keywords: exercise, fatty acid, horse, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist.


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