Tissue metabolism and enzyme activities in the rodent Heterocephalus glaber, a poor temperature regulator.
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1. Tissue oxygen uptake and enzyme activities were investigated in the naked mole rat, Heterocephalus glaber, a mammal notable for its low body temperature and metabolism and poor temperature regulating ability. 2. Q10 for O2 uptake of Heterocephalus crude liver homogenates ranged from 1.91 for the temperature interval 25-30 degrees C to 1.76 within the range 30-38 degrees C, values similar to those reported for typical homoiotherms. 3. Km pyruvate of lactate dehydrogenase in heart muscle had the same temperature dependence in the mole rat and mouse. 4. O2 uptake and cytochrome oxidase activity of skeletal muscle were higher for mole rat than mouse. The reverse was true for heart muscle. Brain and liver O2 uptake showed similar values for both species, while kidney O2 uptake was highest in the mouse. 5. Pyruvate kinase activity in heart and skeletal muscle was higher in mouse than mole rat, suggesting a greater reliance on glycolysis in the former. 6. Na+, K+ -ATPase activity of liver and kidney was 60% higher in mouse than mole rat, while brain was 30% higher in mouse. 7. The results indicate that the effects of temperature on tissue metabolism in the mole rat conform to those in typical homoiotherms. The low body temperature and O2 uptake in the mole rat find no expression in the tissue respiratory capacity.
CitationComparative biochemistry and physiology. B. 1977;57(4):293-6.
Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, University of Nairobi