Altitude not exercise increases plasma erythropoietin in the horse

T. R. Smith, W. B. Beam, S. J. Wickler, K. H. McKeever

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Plasma erythropoietin (EPO) was measured at rest and following exercise in horses at low and high altitude. Standardized exercise tests were performed on a track (SETtrack) at both low and high altitudes, and on a treadmill (SETtread) at low altitude. EPO was measured on 2 d at 225 m (Pb = 743 mm Hg), over the course of a 10 d exposure to 3800 m (Pb = 487 mmHg), and for 2 d after return to 225 m. A SETtrack (submaximal, speed to set heart rate) was performed on either of the 2 d pre-altitude and on 3 d at 3800 m. A SETtread (maximal) was performed on either of 2 d prior to, and on 2 d following altitude exposure. Data were analyzed using ANOVA for repeated measures. Resting EPO increased on the first day of altitude, from 27.7 ± 28 to 144 ± 48 mU/mL (mean ± SD). By day 2 at altitude, EPO had returned to 30.6 ± 25 mU/mL and did not change over the remaining 8 d at altitude nor the 2 d after return to 225 m. EPO was not altered by exercise at sea level or at 3800 m. These results indicate that hypobaric hypoxia positively affects EPO production in the horse rapidly upon first day at altitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A724
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 1998


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Smith, T. R., Beam, W. B., Wickler, S. J., & McKeever, K. H. (1998). Altitude not exercise increases plasma erythropoietin in the horse. FASEB Journal, 12(5), A724.