MANY SPECIES of animals and plants living in seasonally cold climates have developed the ability to withstand the freezing of a high percentage of their total body water (often up to 65%) as extracellular ice (17). This capacity extends to a number of terrestrially hibernating amphibians and reptiles (18). Among these, the physiological and biochemical adaptations for freeze tolerance have been most extensively studied using the wood frog R. sylvatica as the model animal (8, 9, 14, 15, 18, 19). One of the common and critical adaptations for freezing survival is the accumulation of high concentrations of low molecular weight s that act to limit the decrease in cell volume during extracellular ice formation and/or to stabilize macromolecules during freezing. For the wood frog and various other anurans the is glucose; levels of 150-350 pmol/g wet wt may accumulate in core organs such as liver, heart, and brain, compared with control levels in unfrozen of l-5 pmol/g (13, 16, 18). Glucose is produced from massive glycogen stores (up to 180 mg/g) built up in liver before hibernation, and synthesis of the is triggered immediately when ice begins to form on the skin of the frog. Within 5 min
AJP - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Nov 1, 1993
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