The effect of prolonged anoxia at 3 degrees C on tissue high energy phosphates and phosphodiesters in turtles: a 31P-NMR study.
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Selected tissues (skeletal muscle, heart ventrical, and liver), sampled from turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii) at 3 degrees C either under normoxic conditions or after 12 weeks of anoxic submergence were quantitatively analysed for intracellular pH and phosphorus metabolites using 31P-NMR. Plasma was tested for osmolality and for the concentrations of lactate, calcium, and magnesium to confirm anoxic stress. We hypothesized that, in the anoxic animals, tissue ATP levels would be maintained and that the increased osmolality of the body fluids of anoxic turtles would be accounted for by a corresponding increase in the concentrations of phosphodiesters. The responses observed differed among the three tissues. In muscle, ATP was unchanged by anoxia but phosphocreatine was reduced by 80%; in heart, both ATP and phosphocreatine fell by 35-40%. The reduction in phosphocreatine in heart tissue at 3 degrees C was similar to that observed in isolated, perfused working hearts from turtles maintained at 20 degrees C but no decrease in ATP occurred in the latter tissues. In liver, although analyses of several specimens were confounded by line-broadening, neither ATP nor phosphocreatine was detectable in anoxic samples. Phosphosdiesters were detected in amounts sufficient to account for 30% of normoxic cell osmotic concentration in heart and 11% and 12% in liver and muscle, respectively. The phosphodiester levels did not change in anoxia. Heart ventricular phosphodiester levels in turtles at 3 degrees C were significantly higher than those determined for whole hearts from turtles at 20 degrees C.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)