Vol. 53, 2014
Resting metabolic rate and energetics of reproduction in
lactating Eothenomys miletus from Hengduan mountain
Zhu* and Zheng-kun Wang
of Life Science of Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
Background: It has been advocated
that variation in resting metabolic rate (RMR) may affect the
reproductive performance of female animals. In order to investigate the
relationships between RMR and reproductive output in lactating Eothenomys miletus, body mass, RMR, food
intake, litter size and mass, as well as the weight of visceral organs
and gastrointestinal tract were measured in the female E. miletus prior to reproduction
and at late lactation.
Results: It showed that RMR was 39.62% higher at
late lactation than prior to reproduction. There was no significant
correlation between RMR prior to reproduction and reproductive output.
However, RMR at late lactation was positively correlated with body
mass, food intake, litter size and mass, and weight of visceral organs
and gastrointestinal tract at late lactation, within which RMR was more
related to gastrointestinal tracts than the visceral organs. Moreover,
serum leptin levels were positively correlated with body fat mass, RMR,
and food intake at late lactation.
Conclusions: Our data supported the
hypothesis that animals with higher RMR during lactation may have a
greater digestion and absorption capacity in the digestive system for
absorbing energy and may be able to devote more energy for
reproduction. Leptin may participate in the regulation of body mass in
lactating E. miletus.
Key words: Eothenomys miletus; Resting metabolic rate;
Serum leptin levels; Lactation.
*Correspondence: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org