Abnormal regulation of muscle contraction in horses with recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis

Linnea R. Lentz, Stephanie J. Valberg, Edward M. Balog, James R Mickelson, Esther M. Gallant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective - To determine whether abnormal regulation of muscle contraction similar to that associated with malignant hyperthemia (MH) was evident in intact external intercostal muscle cells from Thoroughbreds with recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (RER). Animals - 5 adult Thoroughbred horses with RER and 7 clinically normal adult Thoroughbred or mixed-breed horses. Procedures - Twitch time course variables and contracture responses to various concentrations of potassium, caffeine, and halothane were measured in small bundles of intact external intercostal muscle cells from clinically normal horses and horses with RER. Results - Threshold for significant contracture induced by potassium depolarization was lower for RER-affected muscles, compared with normal muscles, although the relationship between potassium concentration and membrane potential were not different. Thresholds for contracture induced by caffeine and halothane were also lower for RER-affected muscles, compared with normal muscles. Lower thresholds for caffeine-and halothane-induced contractures, as well as depolarization-elicited contractures, in RER-affected muscles suggest a defect in myoplasmic calcium regulation. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Regulation of muscle contraction is abnormal in Thoroughbreds with RER. The specific defect may be attributable to abnormal intracellular calcium regulation. Knowledge of the specific defect involved in RER may lead to improved prevention and treatment of RER-affected horses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)992-999
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Volume60
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999

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