The present study aimed to clarify changes of oxidative stress and antioxidative functions in treadmill-exercised Thoroughbred horses (n=5, 3 to 7 years old), using recently developed techniques for measurement of serum d-ROMs for oxidative stress, and BAP for antioxidative markers. Also, the effect of nasogastric administration of hydrogen-rich water (HW) or placebo water preceding the treadmill exercise on these parameters was examined. Each horse was subjected to a maximum level of treadmill exercise in which the horses were exhausted at an average speed of 13.2 ± 0.84 m/sec. Blood samples were taken 4 times, immediately before the intake of HW or placebo water at 30 min preceding the treadmill exercise, immediately before the exercise (pre-exercise), immediately after the exercise (post-exercise) and at 30 min following the exercise. In all horses, both d-ROMs and BAP values significantly increased at post-exercise. The increase in d-ROMs tended to be lower in the HW trial, as compared to the placebo trial at pre-exercise. The increase in BAP was considerable at approximately 150% of the pre-exercise values in both the HW and placebo treatment trials. The BAP/d-ROMs ratio was significantly elevated at post-exercise in both treatment trials, while a significant elevation was also observed at pre-exercise in the HW trial. BAP, d-ROM, and the BAP/d-ROM ratio tended to decline at 30 min after the exercise, except BAP and BAP/d-ROMs in the placebo trial. These results demonstrate that the marked elevation of oxidative stress and anitioxidative functions occurred simultaneously in the intensively exercised horses, and suggest a possibility that HW has some antioxidative efficacy.
Upon intensive, exhaustive exercise, exercise-induced reactive oxygen species may exceed the antioxidant defence threshold, consequently resulting in muscular damage or late-onset chronic inflammation. Recently, the therapeutic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of molecular hydrogen (H2) for human rheumatoid arthritis have been demonstrated. However, it is also important to clarify the effects of administrating H2 in large animals other than humans, as H2 is thought to reach the target organ by passive diffusion upon delivery from the blood flow, indicating that the distance from the administration point to the target is critical. However, data on the effects of H2 on oxidative stress in real-life exhaustive exercise in large animals are currently lacking. We here investigated 13 Thoroughbred horses administered intravenous 2-L saline with or without 0.6-ppm H2 (placebo, N = 6; H2, N = 7) before participating in a high-intensity simulation race. Intravenous H2-saline significantly suppressed oxidative stress immediately, 3 h, and 24 h after the race, although the antioxidant capability was not affected throughout the study. The serum creatine kinase, lactate, and uric acid levels were increased in both groups. Taken together, these results indicate that intravenous H2-saline can significantly and specifically suppress oxidative stress induced after exhaustive racing in Thoroughbred horses.