Document Detail

Utilisation of lipids, protein, ions and energy during embryonic development of Australian oviparous skinks in the genus Lampropholis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11423304     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The contents of eggs and neonates of the Australian skinks, Lampropholis guichenoti and L. delicata, are described and compared to allow interpretation of nutrient utilisation by the developing embryo. Even though the females are the same size, L. guichenoti lay smaller clutches of larger eggs (egg contents=41.6+/-1.2 mg dry mass) than L. delicata (26.6+/-2.8 mg). The energy density is the same for eggs (30.5+/-0.9 J/g ash-free dry mass for L. guichenoti and 29.9+/-1.1 J/mg for L. delicata) and neonates (22.5+/-1.3 J/mg for L. guichenoti and 23.5+/-0.4 J/mg for L. delicata) between species. The amount of nitrogen (protein) in neonates is only slightly lower than that in eggs, whereas there is a large and significant decline in total lipids. Thus, like some other skinks, protein is a source of metabolic energy during embryogenesis, although not as important as lipid. Triacylglycerol is the major lipid component of the eggs (80% of total lipid), with phospholipid forming only approximately 10% of the total lipid. The fatty acid profile of the phospholipid is distinguished by a high proportion of arachidonic acid (8%), a significant proportion of eicosapentaenoic acid (2-4%) and a relatively low proportion of docosahexaenoic acid (2-3%) compared to chickens. Eggs of both species have remarkably low concentrations of free cholesterol compared to other amniote eggs (0.7% for L. guichenoti and 1.3% for L. delicata). The loss of lipid during embryonic development is almost entirely due to the selective utilisation of yolk triacylglycerol, presumably for energy. By contrast, the amount of phospholipid recovered from the neonates was the same as that originally in the eggs. Moreover, significantly more total cholesterol was present in the neonates than in the eggs, suggesting that biosynthesis of additional cholesterol occurred during development. The phospholipids of the neonates contain higher proportions of arachidonic (11-12%) and docosahexaenoic (8%) acids than the phospholipids of the eggs. Eicosapentaenoic acid is less prevalent in phospholipids in neonates than in eggs. Neonates of both species contain significantly more calcium than the fresh egg contents (L. guichenoti, eggs 0.303+/-0.051 mg, neonates 0.641+/-0.047 mg; L. delicata, eggs 0.187+/-0.013 mg, neonates 0.435+/-0.033 mg), presumably as a result of resorption of calcium from the eggshell. Interestingly, there is also significantly more sodium in neonates than in the contents of fresh eggs (L. guichenoti, eggs 0.094+/-0.010 mg, neonates 0.184+/-0.011 mg; L. delicata, eggs 0.084+/-0.011 mg, neonates 0.151+/-0.010 mg). There is no significant difference in the content of potassium and magnesium in eggs and neonates of either species. Although the fresh eggs of L. delicata have a significantly higher sodium concentration than L. guichenoti, there is no difference in the concentrations of calcium, magnesium, potassium or sodium in the neonates of the two species.
M B Thompson; B K Speake; K J Russell; R J McCartney
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology     Volume:  129     ISSN:  1095-6433     ISO Abbreviation:  Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part A Mol. Integr. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2001 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-06-25     Completed Date:  2001-10-18     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9806096     Medline TA:  Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  313-26     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Biological Sciences and Wildlife Research Institute, Heydon-Laurence Building (A08), University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Sydney, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Animals, Newborn
Body Constitution
Eggs / analysis
Embryo, Nonmammalian / chemistry
Fatty Acids / analysis
Lipid Metabolism*
Lipids / chemistry
Lizards / embryology*
Metals / metabolism*
Proteins / metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids; 0/Ions; 0/Lipids; 0/Metals; 0/Proteins

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