1 February 2016 Lowering Temperature is the Trigger for Glycogen Build-Up and Winter Fasting in Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius)
Joonas Varis, Jaakko Haverinen, Matti Vornanen
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Seasonal changes in physiology of vertebrate animals are triggered by environmental cues including temperature, day-length and oxygen availability. Crucian carp (Carassius carassius) tolerate prolonged anoxia in winter by using several physiological adaptations that are seasonally activated. This study examines which environmental cues are required to trigger physiological adjustments for winter dormancy in crucian carp. To this end, crucian carp were exposed to changing environmental factors under laboratory conditions: effects of declining water temperature, shortening day-length and reduced oxygen availability, separately and in different combinations, were examined on glycogen content and enzyme activities involved in feeding (alkaline phosphatase, AP) and glycogen metabolism (glycogen synthase, GyS; glycogen phosphorylase, GP). Lowering temperature induced a fall in activity of AP and a rise in glycogen content and rate of glycogen synthesis. Relative mass of the liver, and glycogen concentration of liver, muscle and brain increased with lowering temperature. Similarly activity of GyS in muscle and expression of GyS transcripts in brain were up-regulated by lowering temperature. Shortened day-length and oxygen availability had practically no effects on measured variables. We conclude that lowering temperature is the main trigger in preparation for winter anoxia in crucian carp.

© 2016 Zoological Society of Japan
Joonas Varis, Jaakko Haverinen, and Matti Vornanen "Lowering Temperature is the Trigger for Glycogen Build-Up and Winter Fasting in Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius)," Zoological Science 33(1), 83-91, (1 February 2016). https://doi.org/10.2108/zs150072
Received: 25 May 2015; Accepted: 1 September 2015; Published: 1 February 2016
alkaline phosphatase
crucian carp
glycogen Phosphorylase
glycogen synthase
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