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Blood plasma chemistry in White Sea bearded seals across different age groups

Ia Erokhina, Nn Kavtsevich
Published: 31 December 2019

Abstract: Blood chemistry values are reported for the bearded seal species (Erignathus barbatus barbatus Erxleben, 1777) from the White Sea. 27 blood plasma indices are used to describe the state of the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, minerals (total protein, albumin, α-, β-, γ-globulins, urea, creatinine, uric acid, glucose, lactic acid, total lipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, chlorides, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl transferase, creatine kinase, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase) in 3-, 5- and 10-year-old seals. The values of the studied parameters are similar to published data for bearded seal populations in other Arctic regions, as well as being in close agreement with indicators of other pinniped species of the same age. The plasma content of total protein, albumin, α-, β-, γ-globulins, urea, uric acid, total lipids, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and chlorides is invariable in animals of the studied ages. In common with other pinnipeds and land-based mammals, age-related changes in metabolic rates in the studied animal groups are most pronounced in the activity level of key metabolism enzymes. While aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transferase activity is higher in adult seals than in immature animals, alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activity is lower. Changes in biochemical parameters of bearded seal blood at the ages of 3, 5 and 10 years indicate a catabolic orientation in metabolism at all studied development stages. Although more research is needed to investigate the biological significance of a number of blood indices, the data presented in this study provide initial baseline blood chemistry parameters for use in assessing the condition of individual seals, as well as informing monitoring and management efforts for wild seal populations.
Keywords: Protein / Sodium / seals / animals / Creatine kinase / Alkaline phosphatase / Blood Chemistry / aspartate aminotransferase / Bearded Seal

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