Enzymatic activity of rodents acclimated to cold and long scotophase

F. le R. Fourie, A. Haim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rodents representative of a diurnal species (Rhabdomys pumilio) as well as a nocturnal species (Praomys natalensis) were acclimated to cold (Ta = 8°C) at a photoperiod of LD 12:12 and a long scotophase (LD 8; 16) at a temperature of 25° C(Ta). Control groups were kept for both species at Ta = 25° C and LD 12:12 and winter acclimated individuals were obtained during July and August to serve as further reference. Blood samples obtained from the tail were analysed for enzymes representative of three major biochemical pathways. The enzymatic activity of LDH (glycolytic pathway), MDH (Krebs cycle) and G6PDH (hexose monophosphate shunt, as an indicator of gonadal activity) were monitored to represent metabolic activity of the respective cycles. Cold acclimated as well as winter acclimatized mice revealed similar enzymatic patterns for both species and significant increases in LDH and MDH were recorded with a concurrent decrease in G6PDH activity. Specimens exposed to long scotophase exhibited similar enzymatic patterns for both species studied, but enzymatic activity was higher than those of cold acclimated individuals. From these results it is concluded that cold as well as long scotophase induce metabolic adaptations through biochemical activity in the experimental animals. The effect of long scotophase is assumed to be an important factor in the induction of winter acclimatization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-241
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science


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