Changes in muscle composition during the development of diving ability in the Australian fur seal

La Rosa, Domenic A., Cannata, David J., Arnould, John P. Y., O'Sullivan, Lynda A., Snow, Rod J. and West, Jan M. 2012, Changes in muscle composition during the development of diving ability in the Australian fur seal, Australian journal of zoology, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 81-90, doi: 10.1071/ZO11072.

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Title Changes in muscle composition during the development of diving ability in the Australian fur seal
Author(s) La Rosa, Domenic A.
Cannata, David J.
Arnould, John P. Y.ORCID iD for Arnould, John P. Y.
O'Sullivan, Lynda A.
Snow, Rod J.ORCID iD for Snow, Rod J.
West, Jan M.ORCID iD for West, Jan M.
Journal name Australian journal of zoology
Volume number 60
Issue number 2
Start page 81
End page 90
Total pages 10
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 0004-959X
Keyword(s) creatine
skeletal muscle
Summary During development the Australian fur seal transitions from a terrestrial, maternally dependent pup to an adult marine predator. Adult seals have adaptations that allow them to voluntarily dive at depth for long periods, including increased bradycardic control, increased myoglobin levels and haematocrit. To establish whether the profile of skeletal muscle also changes in line with the development of diving ability, biopsy samples were collected from the trapezius muscle of pups, juveniles and adults. The proportions of different fibre types and their oxidative capacity were determined. Only oxidative fibre types (Type I and IIa) were identified, with a significant change in proportions from pup to adult. There was no change in oxidative capacity of Type I and IIa fibres between pups and juveniles but there was a two-fold increase between juveniles and adults. Myoglobin expression increased between pups and juveniles, suggesting improved oxygen delivery, but with no increase in oxidative capacity, oxygen utilisation within the muscle may still be limited. Adult muscle had the highest oxidative capacity, suggesting that fibres are able to effectively utilise available oxygen during prolonged dives. Elevated levels of total creatine in the muscles of juveniles may act as an energy buffer when fibres are transitioning from a fast to slow fibre type.
DOI 10.1071/ZO11072
Field of Research 060602 Animal Physiology - Cell
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, CSIRO
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