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

Denham, Joshua ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5804-4960 and McCluskey, Michael and Denham, Michele M. and 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. ISSN 0425-1644


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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2021 23:54
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2021 23:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: horses, Equus caballus, racehorses, epigenetic modifications, small RNAs, gene
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070799 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310504 Epigenetics (incl. genome methylation and epigenomics)
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/evj.13320
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43613

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