Document Type : Research Article
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, P. M. B. 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Department of Veterinary Physiology, Ahmadu Bello University, P. M. B. 1044, Samaru- Zaria, Nigeria.
National Animal Production Research Institute, P. M. B. 1096, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria.
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ilorin, P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Experiments were performed to determine the effect of ergothioneine on rectal temperature and the serum concentrations of heat shock protein-70 (HSP-70) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in stallions following a race of 2000 m in a hot-dry environment. Eighteen stallions weighing approximately 400 kg each were used for the experiment. They were divided into three groups of six stallions each. Group I (EEX) was the experimental group that was administered ergothioneine (0.5 mg/kg per os), while group II (EEC) did not receive ergothioneine before exercise. The third group (EEN) was neither administered ergothioneine nor exercised. The dry-bulb temperature and the relative humidity of the experiment were determined for six days and on the day of the experiment. The temperature-humidity index was also calculated. Rectal temperature, serum HSP-70, and TNF-α concentrations of all horses were measured before commencement, immediately after, and 2 h after the exercise. The dry-bulb temperature and relative humidity which showed diurnal fluctuations increased significantly (p < 0.05) between 06.00 h and 12.00 h (22.6 ± 1.23 and 38.6 ± 6.5, respectively). Serum TNF-α and HSP-70 levels of the stallions in the EEX group were higher than the values obtained in the EEC and EEN groups (p < 0.05). The values of rectal temperature obtained were lower (p < 0.05) in the EEX group than in the other groups. Therefore, it could be concluded that ergothioneine modulated rectal temperature, as well as TNF-α and HSP-70 concentrations in the stallions, and might be beneficial to horses during exercise.