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J Comp Physiol B. 2002 Jul;172(5):387-97. Epub 2002 May 4.

Proton leak in hepatocytes and liver mitochondria from archosaurs (crocodiles) and allometric relationships for ectotherms.

Author information

1
Metabolic Research Centre and Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. hulbert@uow.edu.au

Abstract

It has previously been shown that mitochondrial proton conductance decreases with increasing body mass in mammals and is lower in a 250-g lizard than the laboratory rat. To examine whether mitochondrial proton conductance is extremely low in very large reptiles, hepatocytes and mitochondria were prepared from saltwater crocodiles ( Crocodylus porosus) and freshwater crocodiles ( Crocodylus johnstoni). Respiration rates of hepatocytes and liver mitochondria were measured at 37 degrees C and compared with values obtained for rat or previously measured for other species. Respiration rates of hepatocytes from either species of crocodile were similar to those reported for lizards and approximately one fifth of the rates measured using cells from mammals (rat and sheep). Ten-to-thirty percent of crocodile hepatocyte respiration was used to drive mitochondrial proton leak, similar to the proportion in other species. Respiration rates of crocodile liver mitochondria were similar to those of mammalian species. Proton leak rate in isolated liver mitochondria was measured as a function of membrane potential. Contrary to our prediction, the mitochondrial proton conductance of liver mitochondria from crocodiles was greater than that of liver mitochondria from lizards and was similar to that of rats. The acyl composition of liver mitochondrial phospholipids from the crocodiles was more similar to that in mitochondria from rats than in mitochondria from lizards. The relatively high mitochondrial proton conductance was associated with a relatively small liver, which seems to be characteristic of crocodilians. Comparison of data from a number of diverse ectothermic species suggested that hepatocyte respiration rate may decrease with body mass, with an allometric exponent of about -0.2, similar to the exponent in mammalian hepatocytes. However, unlike mammals, liver mitochondrial proton conductance in ectotherms showed no allometric relationship with body size.

PMID:
12122455
DOI:
10.1007/s00360-002-0264-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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