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Formation of acetylcarnitine in muscle of horse during high intensity exercise

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To study the changes in carnitine in muscle with sprint exercise, two Thoroughbred horses performed two treadmill exercise tests. Biopsies of the middle gluteal were taken before, after exercise and after 12 min recovery. Resting mean muscle total carnitine content was 29.5 mmol · kg−1 dry muscle (d. m.). Approximately 88% was free carnitine, 7% acetylcarnitine and acylcarnitine was estimated at 5%. Exercise did not affect total carnitine, but resulted in a marked fall in free carnitine and almost equivalent rise in acetylcarnitine. The results are consistent with a role for carnitine in the regulation of the acetyl-CoA/CoA ratio during sprint exercise in the Thoroughbred horse by buffering excess production of acetyl units.

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Correspondence to C. V. Louise Foster.

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Foster, C.V.L., Harris, R.C. Formation of acetylcarnitine in muscle of horse during high intensity exercise. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 56, 639–642 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00424803

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Key words

  • Carnitine
  • Acetylcarnitine
  • Pyruvate metabolism
  • Muscle
  • Horse
  • Exercise