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Du R.,Yantai University | Zang Y.,Ocean University of China | Zang Y.,Provincial Marine Fisheries Research Institute of Shandong | Tian X.,Ocean University of China | Dong S.,Ocean University of China
Journal of Ocean University of China | Year: 2013

The growth, metabolism and physiological response of the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus, were investigated during periods of inactivity. The body weight, oxygen consumption rate (OCR), activities of acidic phosphatase (ACP), alkaline phosphatase (AKP), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and content of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) in the body wall and coelomic fluid of A. japonicus were measured during starvation, experimental aestivation and aestivation. The results showed that the body weight of sea cucumber in the three treatments decreased significantly during the experimental period (P & 0. 05). The OCR of sea cucumber reduced in starvation and experimental aestivation treatments, but increased gradually in natural aestivation treatment. The activities of ACP and AKP of sea cucumber decreased gradually in all treatments, whereas those of SOD and CAT as well as Hsp70 content decreased in the starvation and experimental aestivation treatments and increased in natural aestivation treatment. The sea cucumber entered a state of aestivation at 24°C. To some extent, the animals in experimental aestivation were different from those in natural aestivation in metabolism and physiological response. These findings suggested that the aestivation mechanism of A. japonicus is complex and may not be attributed to the elevated temperature only. © 2013 Science Press, Ocean University of China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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