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Seasonal effects on intestinal enzyme activity in the Australian agamid lizard, Lophognathus temporalis

Iglesias, S., Tracy, C.R., Bedford, G.S., McWhorter, T.J. and Christian, K.A. (2009) Seasonal effects on intestinal enzyme activity in the Australian agamid lizard, Lophognathus temporalis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 153 (1). pp. 89-94.

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The tropical agamid lizard, Lophognathus temporalis, has higher metabolic and feeding rates during the wet season compared to the dry season. Also, lizards from urban sites tend to be larger than those from natural sites, partly due to site differences in food availability. Therefore, we hypothesized that activity of membrane-bound intestinal enzymes and masses of organs related to digestion would differ both seasonally and between urban and natural sites. To test this, we measured activities of aminopeptidase-N (APN), maltase, and sucrase, as well as organ masses. APN activity (μmol min- 1 g- 1) was highest in the middle portion of the intestine (section 2), followed by the proximal portion (section 1) and then the distal portion (section 3). Maltase activity was highest in section 1 and decreased distally. We detected some sucrase activity in section 1 but none in sections 2 or 3. We found similar enzyme activities within each section irrespective of site or season. However, total enzyme activities were higher during the wet season compared to the dry season for both urban and bush L. temporalis. Total wet season enzyme activity in urban and bush L. temporalis was greatest for APN (25.4; 15.8 μmol min- 1; respectively), then maltase (3.9; 3.6 μmol min- 1; respectively) and then sucrase (0.3; 0.2 μmol min- 1; respectively). The higher total enzyme activities was the result of an increase in intestinal mass during the wet season.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2009 Elsevier Inc.
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