Effect of protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide on starvation, fasting and feeding oxygen consumption in juvenile spiny lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi

  • Shuangyao WangEmail author
  • Quinn P. Fitzgibbon
  • Chris G. Carter
  • Gregory G. Smith
Original Paper


Metabolism in aquatic ectotherms evaluated by oxygen consumption rates reflects energetic costs including those associated with protein synthesis. Metabolism is influenced by nutritional status governed by feeding, nutrient intake and quality, and time without food. However, little is understood about contribution of protein synthesis to crustacean energy metabolism. This study is the first using a protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide to research contribution of cycloheximide-sensitive protein synthesis to decapod crustacean metabolism. Juvenile Sagmariasus verreauxi were subject to five treatments: 2-day fasted lobsters sham injected with saline; 2-day fasted lobsters injected with cycloheximide; 10-day starved lobsters injected with cycloheximide; post-prandial lobsters fed with squid Nototodarus sloanii with no further treatment; and post-prandial lobsters injected with cycloheximide. Standard and routine metabolic rates in starved lobsters were reduced by 32% and 41%, respectively, compared to fasted lobsters, demonstrating metabolic downregulation with starvation. Oxygen consumption rates of fasted and starved lobsters following cycloheximide injection were reduced by 29% and 13%, respectively, demonstrating protein synthesis represents only a minor component of energy metabolism in unfed lobsters. Oxygen consumption rate of fed lobsters was reduced by 96% following cycloheximide injection, demonstrating protein synthesis in decapods contributes a major proportion of specific dynamic action (SDA). SDA in decapods is predominantly a post-absorptive process likely related to somatic growth. This work extends previously limited knowledge on contribution of protein synthesis to crustacean metabolism, which is crucial to explore the relationship between nutritional status and diet quality and how this will affect growth potential in aquaculture species.


Sagmariasus verreauxi Oxygen consumption Energetic costs Protein synthesis Cycloheximide 



We thank all IMAS aquaculture staff for the maintenance of the experiment and the assistance in the culture of the lobsters. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable input. This study was funded by the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub (Project number IH120100032).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)University of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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