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Physiol Biochem Zool. 2008 Jan-Feb;81(1):1-13. Epub 2007 Nov 6.

Contributions to elevated metabolism during recovery: dissecting the excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) in the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis).

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Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0354, USA.


The excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), a measure of recovery costs, is known to be large in ectothermic vertebrates such as the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), especially after vigorous activity. To analyze the cause of these large recovery costs in a terrestrial ectotherm, Dipsosaurus were run for 15 s at maximal-intensity (distance 35.0+/-1.9 m; 2.33+/-0.13 m s(-1)) while O(2) uptake was monitored via open-flow respirometry. Muscle metabolites (adenylates, phosphocreatine, and lactate) were measured at rest and after 0, 3, 10, and 60 min of recovery. Cardiac and ventilatory activity during rest and recovery were measured, as were whole-body lactate and blood lactate, which were used to estimate total muscle activity. This vigorous activity was supported primarily by glycolysis (65%) and phosphocreatine hydrolysis (29%), with only a small contribution from aerobic metabolism (2.5%). Aerobic recovery lasted 43.8+/-4.6 min, and EPOC measured 0.166+/-0.025 mL O(2) g(-1). This was a large proportion (98%) of the total suprabasal metabolic cost of the activity to the animal. The various contributions to EPOC after this short but vigorous activity were quantified, and a majority of EPOC was accounted for. The two primary causes of EPOC were phosphocreatine repletion (32%-50%) and lactate glycogenesis (30%-47%). Four other components played smaller roles: ATP repletion (8%-13%), elevated ventilatory activity (2%), elevated cardiac activity (2%), and oxygen store resaturation (1%).

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