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Effects of season and reproductive state on lipid intake and fatty acid composition of gastrointestinal tract contents in the European hare.

Popescu FD, Hackländer K, Arnold W, Ruf T - J. Comp. Physiol. B, Biochem. Syst. Environ. Physiol. (2011)

Bottom Line: GI-tract contents showed significant seasonal changes in their FA composition.Among PUFA, α-linolenic acid peaked in spring while linoleic acid was predominant in late summer and fall, which probably reflected changes in the plant composition of forage.However, independent of seasonal changes, GI-tracts of lactating females showed a significantly (+33%) higher content of linoleic acid, a FA that is known to increase reproductive performance in European hares.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria. francesca.popescu@itpa.unibe.ch

ABSTRACT
We investigated lipid content and fatty acid (FA) composition of gastrointestinal tract contents in free-living, herbivorous European hares (Lepus europaeus). Mean crude fat content in hare stomachs and total gastrointestinal (GI) tracts was higher than expected for typical herbivore forages and peaked in late fall when hares massively deposited body fat reserves. Changes of FA proportions in different parts of the GI-tract indicated a highly preferential absorption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). A further reduction of PUFA content in the caecum, along with the appearance of odd-chained FAs in caecum, caecotrophes, and colon content, pointed to a biohydrogenation of PUFA in the hare's hindgut. GI-tract contents showed significant seasonal changes in their FA composition. Among PUFA, α-linolenic acid peaked in spring while linoleic acid was predominant in late summer and fall, which probably reflected changes in the plant composition of forage. However, independent of seasonal changes, GI-tracts of lactating females showed a significantly (+33%) higher content of linoleic acid, a FA that is known to increase reproductive performance in European hares. This finding suggests that lactating females actively selected dietary plants rich in linoleic acid, a PUFA that may represent a limited resource for European hares.

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Crude fat content of digesta in different fractions of the gastrointestinal tract of free-living European hares. SI small intestine, CT caecotrophes. Means ± 95% confidence intervals
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Fig2: Crude fat content of digesta in different fractions of the gastrointestinal tract of free-living European hares. SI small intestine, CT caecotrophes. Means ± 95% confidence intervals

Mentions: Total lipid content differed significantly between all fractions collected from the GI-tract (F4,138 = 364.178; P < 0.001). As illustrated in Fig. 2, lipid content significantly increased between stomach and small intestine, and was significantly lower in all posterior fractions.Fig. 2


Effects of season and reproductive state on lipid intake and fatty acid composition of gastrointestinal tract contents in the European hare.

Popescu FD, Hackländer K, Arnold W, Ruf T - J. Comp. Physiol. B, Biochem. Syst. Environ. Physiol. (2011)

Crude fat content of digesta in different fractions of the gastrointestinal tract of free-living European hares. SI small intestine, CT caecotrophes. Means ± 95% confidence intervals
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3118006&req=5

Fig2: Crude fat content of digesta in different fractions of the gastrointestinal tract of free-living European hares. SI small intestine, CT caecotrophes. Means ± 95% confidence intervals
Mentions: Total lipid content differed significantly between all fractions collected from the GI-tract (F4,138 = 364.178; P < 0.001). As illustrated in Fig. 2, lipid content significantly increased between stomach and small intestine, and was significantly lower in all posterior fractions.Fig. 2

Bottom Line: GI-tract contents showed significant seasonal changes in their FA composition.Among PUFA, α-linolenic acid peaked in spring while linoleic acid was predominant in late summer and fall, which probably reflected changes in the plant composition of forage.However, independent of seasonal changes, GI-tracts of lactating females showed a significantly (+33%) higher content of linoleic acid, a FA that is known to increase reproductive performance in European hares.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria. francesca.popescu@itpa.unibe.ch

ABSTRACT
We investigated lipid content and fatty acid (FA) composition of gastrointestinal tract contents in free-living, herbivorous European hares (Lepus europaeus). Mean crude fat content in hare stomachs and total gastrointestinal (GI) tracts was higher than expected for typical herbivore forages and peaked in late fall when hares massively deposited body fat reserves. Changes of FA proportions in different parts of the GI-tract indicated a highly preferential absorption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). A further reduction of PUFA content in the caecum, along with the appearance of odd-chained FAs in caecum, caecotrophes, and colon content, pointed to a biohydrogenation of PUFA in the hare's hindgut. GI-tract contents showed significant seasonal changes in their FA composition. Among PUFA, α-linolenic acid peaked in spring while linoleic acid was predominant in late summer and fall, which probably reflected changes in the plant composition of forage. However, independent of seasonal changes, GI-tracts of lactating females showed a significantly (+33%) higher content of linoleic acid, a FA that is known to increase reproductive performance in European hares. This finding suggests that lactating females actively selected dietary plants rich in linoleic acid, a PUFA that may represent a limited resource for European hares.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus