Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mountain mice show adaptation to altitude

Date:
July 5, 2010
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Mice at altitude have adapted to use oxygen more efficiently during exercise than their low-altitude counterparts by showing a fuel preference for carbohydrates over fats, Canadian and Peruvian scientists reveal. It is very likely that a similar strategy has also evolved in other mammals, including high-altitude native humans.

Phyllotis mice that have evolved in the Pervian Andes show an adaptation to maximize energy production when little oxygen is available, by a preference for carbohydrates as fuel over fatty acids.
Credit: Marie-Pierre Schippers

Mice at altitude save oxygen during exercise by using more carbohydrates rather than fat, Canadian and Peruvian scientists reveal.

This fuel-preference represents an adaptation in high altitude mice to use oxygen more efficiently than their low-altitude counterparts.

"Andean mouse species have independently evolved a strategy to maximize energy yield when little oxygen is available" explain lead researchers Marie-Pierre Schippers and Grant McClelland from McMaster University.

It is very possible that a similar strategy has also evolved in other mammals, including high-altitude native humans, the scientists say.

In mammals, the relative amounts of carbohydrates (CHO) and fatty acids used to fuel activity are directly related to exercise intensity, with the proportion of CHO increasing towards higher intensity activity.

The research, presented on Friday 2nd July at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Prague, is the first study to demonstrate the preferred use of carbohydrates (CHO) as fuel in mammals at high altitudes, where oxygen availability is low.

The increased use of CHO is believed to offer an oxygen-saving advantage over fatty acids (FA), as it leads to ~15-18% more energy produced per mole of oxygen consumed in respiration than FA.

The team measured fuel selection patterns and cardiac muscle metabolism in four species of leaf-eared mice (Phyllotis) from high altitudes (4000-4500m) and low altitudes (close to sea level) in the Peruvian Andes.

The scientists measured fuel selection at rest and at low exercise intensities under both normoxia (normal oxygen) and hypoxia (low oxygen, representative of high altitudes).

Having shown the effect of low oxygen (high altitude) on fuel preference in Andean mice, the research team are keen to establish whether a similar strategy exists in humans that have evolved at high altitudes. "Further investigation is certainly warranted," says Marie-Pierre Schippers.

This work was done in collaboration with Peruvian scientists, Oswaldo Ramirez and Margarita Arana, from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Mountain mice show adaptation to altitude." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100701204354.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2010, July 5). Mountain mice show adaptation to altitude. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100701204354.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Mountain mice show adaptation to altitude." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100701204354.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins