Glucose and lactate metabolism were studied in a hypoxia-resistant subterranean crustacean, Niphargus virei, using an injection of l-[U-14C]lactate and tracer d-[6-3H]glucose either in normoxic conditions or after a 24 h exposure to severe hypoxic. Post-hypoxic animals (H animals) were compared with two treatment groups of normoxic animals. In the first normoxic group (NLL animals), animals were simultaneously injected with labelled and unlabelled lactate to obtain a lactate load similar to that of H animals. In the second normoxic group (N, control animals), animals were only injected with labelled lactate. During a 24 h recovery period, the incorporation of 14C and 3H into glycogen, lactate, glucose, amino acids, lipids and CO2 was measured. During recovery, glucose turnover rate was enhanced in H and depressed in NLL compared with N animals. However, when energy expenditure was taken into account, the changes were due only to a reduction of glucose turnover rate by lactate load. It was concluded that gluconeogenesis was not the main source of glyconeogenesis. Equivalent lactate loading in NLL and H animals resulted in an equivalent enhancement (fivefold) of lactate utilization in both groups when energy expenditure was taken into account. Lactate label incorporation appeared later in glycogen than in glucose, but remained high 24 h after the injection. Since glucose is mainly an extracellular metabolite, this observation may be consistent with the hypothesis of two distinct sites for glycogen restoration in hypogean crustaceans: a gluconeogenic organ (a liver equivalent) and a glyconeogenic organ (a muscle equivalent). The oxidative pathways of glucose and lactate were depressed in post-hypoxic N. virei and to a lesser extent in the NLL group. Since there is no evidence of marked protein utilization, it is postulated that, during recovery, repayment of the O2 debt relies on an increase in lipid utilization. During recovery from severe hypoxia or after a lactate load, the subterranean N. virei appeared to implement a strategy of lactate removal quite different from that observed in epigean crustaceans, favouring lactate-supported gluco- and glyconeogenesis and rapid glycogen replenishment instead of rapid lactate removal via oxidative pathways.
- © 1999 by Company of Biologists