metabolomics is the high-throughput, multiparametric identification and classification of hundreds of low molecular weight metabolites in a biological sample. Ultimately, metabolites are the downstream readouts of cellular signalling, transcriptomic and proteomic changes that can provide a comprehensive view of tissue and organismal phenotype. The popularity of metabolomics in human sport and exercise has been gaining over the past decade and has provided important insights into the energetic demands and mechanistic underpinnings of exercise and training. To the contrary, metabolomics in the field of equine exercise physiology is lagging despite the horse's superior aerobic and muscular capabilities, as well as its prominence in competitive sport. As such, this narrative review aims to describe metabolomics, its routine implementation, the various analytical methods applied and the state of its use in the equine athlete. Sufficient attention will be paid to methodological considerations, as well as gaps in the equine literature, particularly with regard to the skeletal muscle metabolome. Finally, there will be a brief discussion of the future directions and barriers to metabolomics use in the athletic horse. A thorough understanding of the metabolomics changes that occur in the equine athlete with exercise will undoubtedly help to improve horse management and health across the lifespan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology