Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 158, Issue 2, pp 143–149 | Cite as

Adaptation of intestinal enzymes to seasonal and dietary changes in a hibernator: the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus)

  • Michel Galluser
  • Francis Raul
  • Bernard Canguilhem


Effects of diet, hibernation and seasonal variations on hydrolase activities were determined in mucosa and purified brush border membranes of the small intestine of European hamsters. Wild hamsters captured in April and fed for several weeks with an equilibrated laboratory chow (20% protein, 50% carbohydrates) exhibited a rise in disaccharidase activities (sucrase, isomaltase, lactase) but no changes in aminopeptidase N activity. During deep hibernation, in contrast to sucrase and isomaltase activities which showed only minor changes, lactase activity was significantly enhanced along the jejunoileum, and aminopeptidase N activity was maximum in the ileum. After a short period (48 h) of wakefulness and feeding following 10 days of starvation during the hibernation period, the activities of the disaccharidases and of aminopeptidase N returned to values measured in active animals. In contrast to the nutritional state, which has an important impact on the activities of intestinal enzymes, season has little effect on the intestine of the active animal under a controlled environment. The pattern of enzyme activities which occurs along the small intestine in the hibernating animal may be a prerequisite for optimum digestion during the short phases of waking during the hibernation period of the European hamster.


Small Intestine Brush Border Dietary Change Brush Border Membrane Hydrolase Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Galluser
    • 1
  • Francis Raul
    • 1
  • Bernard Canguilhem
    • 2
  1. 1.Unité de Biologie Cellulaire et de Physiopathologie DigestivesINSERM U61StrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Institut de PhysiologieFaculté de MédecineStrasbourgFrance

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