Increased capacity for circulatory fatty acid transport in a highly aerobic mammal
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Plasma fatty acid (FA) and albumin concentrations, cardiac output, and hematocrit of dogs and goats [dog-to-goat ratio of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) = 2.2] were measured to determine rates of circulatory FA delivery during exercise. Our goals were 1) to characterize the mechanism(s) used by the endurance-adapted species (dog) to support higher rates of FA delivery to working muscles than the sedentary species (goat) and 2) to determine whether circulatory transport is scaled with VO2max. Lipid oxidation was 2.5 times higher in dogs than in goats. Dogs had higher cardiac outputs than goats, but this positive effect on their FA delivery was canceled by higher hematocrit. Dogs always had higher plasma FA concentrations than goats. In contrast, albumin was steady and identical in both species, showing that dogs transport FA at higher rates than goats only because they load more FA on their albumin. Average dog-to-goat ratios for FA delivery (1.5-2.0) were lower than would be expected if this rate were scaled with VO2max. In vitro experiments showed that dog albumin is designed for high rates of FA transport because it can bind 50% more FA than goat albumin. All endurance-adapted species may possess such "aerobic albumins" to supply more circulating FA to their working muscles than sedentary species.
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