The metabolic effects of evaporative water loss at 5 °C were assessed for both fall- and spring-collected spring peepers Psuedacris crucifer. Frogs readily endured the loss of 50% of total body water. During dehydration organ water content was defended with no change in water content in skeletal muscle, gut, and kidney of 50% dehydrated frogs and reduced water content in liver, brain and heart. Dehydration stimulated a rapid and massive increase in liver glucose production. In fall-collected frogs liver glucose rose by 120-fold to 2690±400 nmol · mg protein-1 or 220 μmol · g ww-1 in 50% dehydrated frogs and glucose in other organs increased by 2.6- to 60-fold. Spring-collected frogs showed the same qualitative response to dehydration although absolute glucose levels were lower, rising maximally by 8.4-fold in liver. Glucose synthesis was supported by glycogenolysis in liver and changes in the levels of glycolytic intermediates in liver indicated that an inhibitory block at the phosphofructokinase locus during desiccation helped to divert hexose phosphates into the production of glucose. Liver energy status (ATP, total adenylates, energy charge) was maintained even after the loss of 35% of total body water but at 50% dehydration all parameters showed a sharp decline; for example, energy charge fell from about 0.85 to 0.42. Severe dehydration also led to an accumulation of lactate in four organs, probably hypoxia-induced the to impaired circulation. The hyperglycemic response of P. crucifer to dehydration mimics the cryoprotectant synthesis response seen during freezing of this freeze-tolerant frog, suggesting that these share a common regultory mechanism and that the cryoprotectant response may have arisen out of pre-existing volume regulatory responses of amphibians. The hyperglycemic response to dehydration might also be utilized during winter hibernation to help retard body water loss by raising the osmolality of the body fluids in situations where hibernaculum conditions become dry.

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Journal of Comparative Physiology B
Department of Biology

Churchill, T.A., & Storey, K. (1994). Effects of dehydration on organ metabolism in the frog Pseudacris crucifer: hyperglycemic responses to dehydration mimic freezing-induced cryoprotectant production. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 164(6), 492–498. doi:10.1007/BF00714587