Epigenetic control of exercise adaptations in the equine athlete: current evidence and future directions

Article


Denham, Joshua, McCluskey, Michael, Denham, Michele M., Sellami, Maha and Davie, Alan J.. 2021. "Epigenetic control of exercise adaptations in the equine athlete: current evidence and future directions." Equine Veterinary Journal. 53 (3), pp. 431-450. https://doi.org/10.1111/evj.13320
Article Title

Epigenetic control of exercise adaptations in the equine athlete: current evidence and future directions

ERA Journal ID5511
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsDenham, Joshua (Author), McCluskey, Michael (Author), Denham, Michele M. (Author), Sellami, Maha (Author) and Davie, Alan J. (Author)
Journal TitleEquine Veterinary Journal
Journal Citation53 (3), pp. 431-450
Number of Pages20
Year2021
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationHoboken, NJ, United States
ISSN0425-1644
2042-3306
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/evj.13320
Web Address (URL)https://beva.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evj.13320
Abstract

Horses (Equus ferus caballus) have evolved over the past 300 years in response to man-made selection for particular athletic traits. Some of the selected traits were selected based on the size and horses' muscular power (eg Clydesdales), whereas other breeds were bred for peak running performance (eg Thoroughbred and Arabian). Although the physiological changes and some of the cellular adaptations responsible for athletic potential of horses have been identified, the molecular mechanisms are only just beginning to be comprehensively investigated. The purpose of this review was to outline and discuss the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the athletic performance and cardiorespiratory fitness in athletic breeds of horses. A brief review of the biology of epigenetics is provided, including discussion on DNA methylation, histone modifications and small RNAs, followed by a summary and critical review of the current work on the exercise-induced epigenetic and transcriptional changes in horses. Important unanswered questions and currently unexplored areas that deserve attention are highlighted. Finally, a rationale for the analysis of epigenetic modifications in the context with exercise-related traits and ailments associated with athletic breeds of horses is outlined in order to help guide future research.

Keywordshorses, Equus caballus, racehorses, epigenetic modifications, small RNAs, gene
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020310504. Epigenetics (incl. genome methylation and epigenomics)
420702. Exercise physiology
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Byline AffiliationsRoyal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
AllCare Equine Centre, Australia
Jubilee Stud, Australia
Qatar University, Qatar
Australian Equine Racing and Research Centre, Australia
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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