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Am J Physiol. 1995 Jul;269(1 Pt 2):R64-72.

Development of metabolic enzyme activity in locomotor and cardiac muscles of the migratory barnacle goose.

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School of Biological Sciences, Department of Physiology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, United Kingdom.


Preflight development of the goslings was typified by rapid increases in the mitochondrial enzymes of the semimembranosus and heart ventricular muscles resulting in near-adult values by 3 wk of age. In contrast, aerobic capacity of the pectoralis muscle initially developed slowly but showed a rapid increase between 5 and 7 wk of age, in preparation for becoming airborne. Activities of glycolytic enzymes in the pectoralis muscle showed similar patterns of development as those found for the aerobic enzymes, except for hexokinase, which was low at all ages, indicating an adaptation for catabolism of both intracellular glycogen and plasma fatty acids in preference to plasma glucose. Muscle mass specific activity of citrate synthase in the pectoralis increased by only 33% from goslings during the first few days of flight, compared with premigratory geese. Activities of anaerobic glycolytic enzymes in the ventricles were low, but values for hexokinase, which is involved in the phosphorylation of plasma glucose, developed rapidly. Values for lactate dehydrogenase were also high, reflecting the capacity of the heart to catabolize plasma lactate. Substrate flux supplied by carnitine palmitoyltransferase and oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (OGD), in the pectoralis muscles of the premigratory geese, appears to have the smallest excess capacities to meet the requirements of sustained aerobic flight. The average maximum oxygen uptake for premigratory geese during flight, as indicated by values for OGD, is calculated to be 484 ml O2/min (or 208 ml

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