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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2011 Dec 15;25(23):3491-6. doi: 10.1002/rcm.5253.

Estimating lean mass over a wide range of body composition: a calibration of deuterium dilution in the arctic ground squirrel.

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Biology and Wildlife Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P.O. Box 756100, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA.


Calculating body water through isotope dilution has become a useful way to nondestructively estimate body composition in many species. The most accurate estimates using this method require calibration against proximate chemical analysis of body composition for individual species, but no studies to our knowledge have calibrated this method on a hibernating mammal that seasonally undergoes dramatic changes in body composition. We use deuterium oxide to estimate total body water in captive arctic ground squirrels, Urocitellus parryii, and compare two approaches of calculating lean mass from total body water, both calibrated against lean mass based on proximate analysis. The first method uses a single tissue hydration constant to calculate lean mass from total body water; the second method uses a predictive equation to calculate lean mass from total body water and body mass. We found that the predictive equation performs better over the large range of body composition common to this species. Distillation of blood samples did not affect lean mass estimates from either calculation method. These findings indicate that isotope dilution using a predictive equation should work well as an alternative to destructive methods in other small mammals that undergo radical changes in body composition across their annual cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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