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Enzyme activities and morphology of Japanese brown frog (Rana japonica) mitochondria in the tibialis anterior muscle during hibernation and active life

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Enzyme activities in the respiratory chain, as well as the structure and numbers of mitochondria of the tibialis anterior muscle, during hibernation were compared with those of normally active muscle in the Japanese brown frog (Rana japonica). Morphological examination using an electron microscope showed that during hibernation, mitochondria were larger and longer and had clearly distinguishable outer and inner membranes with developed cristae. A significantly greater number of glycogen granules was found in the tibialis anterior muscle of hibernating frogs. The average cross-sectional area (CSA) of muscle fiber was much smaller in the samples from hibernating frogs than those from active frogs. The numbers of mitochondria per CSA were also much higher during hibernation than during active life. Measurements of the enzyme activities of succinate dehydrogenase, NADH-ferricyanide reductase, and succinate-O2 and NADH-O2 oxidoreductases showed different profiles between hibernation and active life. That is, all four activities were significantly higher during hibernation than during active life. Taken together, the results obtained suggest that the seasonal variations in the activities of respiratory-chain systems may be related to the seasonal morphological changes in muscle mitochondria in R. japonica.

L'activité enzymatique dans la chaîne respiratoire, de même que la structure et le nombre des mitochondries dans le tibialis anterior ont été comparés durant l'hibernation et durant l'activité musculaire normale chez la grenouille Rana japonica. L'examen morphologique au microscope électronique a révélé que, durant l'hibernation, les mitochondries sont plus larges et plus longues et sont munies d'une membrane interne et d'une membrane externe distinctes avec de nombreuses crêtes. Durant l'hibernation, la quantité de granules de glycogène est significativement plus grande. La surface moyenne d'une fibre musculaire en coupe transversale (CSA) est beaucoup plus petite chez les grenouilles en hibernation que chez les grenouilles actives. Le nombre de mitochondries par CSA est beaucoup plus élevé pendant l'hibernation. Les activités enzymatiques de la succinate déshydrogénase, de la NADH-ferricyanure réductase, de la succinate-O2 oxydoréductase et de la NADH-O2 oxydoréductase ont des profils différents chez les animaux actifs et chez les animaux en hibernation. Les activités de ces quatre enzymes sont plus importantes au cours de l'hibernation. Globalement, ces résultats indiquent que les variations saisonnières de l'activité des divers systèmes de la chaîne respiratoire peuvent être reliées à des changements morphologiques saisonniers des mitochondries musculaires chez R. japonica.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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