The effects of anoxic submergence (20 h at 7°C in nitrogen-bubbled water) and subsequent aerobic recovery (24 h at 7°C) on the maximal activities of 21 metabolic enzymes were assessed in liver, kidney, heart, brain, and red and white skeletal muscle of an anoxia-tolerant freshwater turtle, the red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans. Anoxia exposure affected the activities of only a few enzymes; for example, it reduced the activity of phosphofructokinase in liver and brain, hexokinase in kidney, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase in heart, glutamate dehydrogenase and serine dehydratase in brain, and 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase in red muscle. During aerobic recovery, activities of most of these enzymes rebounded and activities of 10 others that were not affected by anoxia rose during recovery. Anoxia-induced changes in selected enzymes appear to meet very specific needs such as glycolytic-rate depression, regulation of glycolytic versus gluconeogenic flux in liver, or alterations in amino acid neurotransmitter levels in brain. Overall, the data demonstrate that the enzymatic make-up of turtle organs undergoes very few changes during anoxia exposure and recovery, which shows that the constitutive activities of enzymes are well designed to meet the metabolic demands of anoxic excursions.
Canadian Journal of Zoology
Department of Biology

Willmore, W, Cowan, K.J., & Storey, K. (2001). Effects of anoxia exposure and aerobic recovery on metabolic enzyme activities in the freshwater turtle Trachemys scripta elegans. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 79(10), 1822–1828. doi:10.1139/cjz-79-10-1822