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Insectivorous bats digest chitin in the stomach using acidic mammalian chitinase.

Strobel S, Roswag A, Becker NI, Trenczek TE, Encarnação JA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: We hypothesized that (i) European vespertilionid bat species have the digestive enzyme chitinase and that (ii) the chitinolytic activity is located in the intestine, as has been found for North American bat species.In conclusion, European vespertilionid bat species have acidic mammalian chitinase that is produced in the gastric glands of the stomach.Therefore, the gastrointestinal tracts of insectivorous bat species evolved an enzymatic adaptation to their diet.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Mammalian Ecology Group, Department of Animal Ecology and Systematics, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany ; Department of General Zoology and Developmental Biology, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The gastrointestinal tract of animals is adapted to their primary source of food to optimize resource use and energy intake. Temperate bat species mainly feed on arthropods. These contain the energy-rich carbohydrate chitin, which is indigestible for the endogenous enzymes of a typical mammalian gastrointestinal tract. However, the gastrointestinal tract of bat species should be adapted to their diet and be able to digest chitin. We hypothesized that (i) European vespertilionid bat species have the digestive enzyme chitinase and that (ii) the chitinolytic activity is located in the intestine, as has been found for North American bat species. The gastrointestinal tracts of seven bat species (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Plecotus auritus, Myotis bechsteinii, Myotis nattereri, Myotis daubentonii, Myotis myotis, and Nyctalus leisleri) were tested for chitinolytic activity by diffusion assay. Gastrointestinal tracts of P. pipistrellus, P. auritus, M. nattereri, M. myotis, and N. leisleri were examined for acidic mammalian chitinase by western blot analysis. Tissue sections of the gastrointestinal tract of P. pipistrellus were immunohistochemically analyzed to locate the acidic mammalian chitinase. Chitinolytic activity was detected in the stomachs of all bat species. Western blot analysis confirmed the acidic mammalian chitinase in stomach samples. Immunohistochemistry of the P. pipistrellus gastrointestinal tract indicated that acidic mammalian chitinase is located in the stomach chief cells at the base of the gastric glands. In conclusion, European vespertilionid bat species have acidic mammalian chitinase that is produced in the gastric glands of the stomach. Therefore, the gastrointestinal tracts of insectivorous bat species evolved an enzymatic adaptation to their diet.

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Western blot analysis of AMCase in the stomachs of three different bat species.Lane 1 =  Plecotus auritus, lane 2 =  Myotis myotis, lane 3 =  Nyctalus leisleri. Primary antibody dilution 1∶1000.
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pone-0072770-g004: Western blot analysis of AMCase in the stomachs of three different bat species.Lane 1 =  Plecotus auritus, lane 2 =  Myotis myotis, lane 3 =  Nyctalus leisleri. Primary antibody dilution 1∶1000.

Mentions: Western blot analysis of the M. musculus stomach showed a characteristic band at a relative molecular weight of 46 k, indicating the presence of AMCase. Furthermore, in all stomach samples of P. pipistrellus, P. auritus, M. nattereri, M. myotis, and N. leisleri a clear protein band at 46 k was identified (for representative western blot images, see Fig. 3 for Pipistrellus and Fig. 4 for Plecotus, Myotis and Nyctalus). This protein band was not detected in the esophagus, duodenum, jejunum/ileum, ileum/colon or colon/rectum samples of the bat species (Fig. 3). All immunohistochemical results were controlled for autofluorescence and unspecific binding of the secondary FITC-coupled antibody. Stomach sections were positive for anti-AMCase antibody labeling, whereas in the esophagus, duodenum, jejunum/ileum, ileum/colon and colon/rectum sections no binding was detected. In the stomach sections, anti-AMCase labeling was limited to the bottom of the gastric glands along the gastric mucosa around the DAPI-stained cell nuclei (Fig. 5).


Insectivorous bats digest chitin in the stomach using acidic mammalian chitinase.

Strobel S, Roswag A, Becker NI, Trenczek TE, Encarnação JA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Western blot analysis of AMCase in the stomachs of three different bat species.Lane 1 =  Plecotus auritus, lane 2 =  Myotis myotis, lane 3 =  Nyctalus leisleri. Primary antibody dilution 1∶1000.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3760910&req=5

pone-0072770-g004: Western blot analysis of AMCase in the stomachs of three different bat species.Lane 1 =  Plecotus auritus, lane 2 =  Myotis myotis, lane 3 =  Nyctalus leisleri. Primary antibody dilution 1∶1000.
Mentions: Western blot analysis of the M. musculus stomach showed a characteristic band at a relative molecular weight of 46 k, indicating the presence of AMCase. Furthermore, in all stomach samples of P. pipistrellus, P. auritus, M. nattereri, M. myotis, and N. leisleri a clear protein band at 46 k was identified (for representative western blot images, see Fig. 3 for Pipistrellus and Fig. 4 for Plecotus, Myotis and Nyctalus). This protein band was not detected in the esophagus, duodenum, jejunum/ileum, ileum/colon or colon/rectum samples of the bat species (Fig. 3). All immunohistochemical results were controlled for autofluorescence and unspecific binding of the secondary FITC-coupled antibody. Stomach sections were positive for anti-AMCase antibody labeling, whereas in the esophagus, duodenum, jejunum/ileum, ileum/colon and colon/rectum sections no binding was detected. In the stomach sections, anti-AMCase labeling was limited to the bottom of the gastric glands along the gastric mucosa around the DAPI-stained cell nuclei (Fig. 5).

Bottom Line: We hypothesized that (i) European vespertilionid bat species have the digestive enzyme chitinase and that (ii) the chitinolytic activity is located in the intestine, as has been found for North American bat species.In conclusion, European vespertilionid bat species have acidic mammalian chitinase that is produced in the gastric glands of the stomach.Therefore, the gastrointestinal tracts of insectivorous bat species evolved an enzymatic adaptation to their diet.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Mammalian Ecology Group, Department of Animal Ecology and Systematics, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany ; Department of General Zoology and Developmental Biology, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The gastrointestinal tract of animals is adapted to their primary source of food to optimize resource use and energy intake. Temperate bat species mainly feed on arthropods. These contain the energy-rich carbohydrate chitin, which is indigestible for the endogenous enzymes of a typical mammalian gastrointestinal tract. However, the gastrointestinal tract of bat species should be adapted to their diet and be able to digest chitin. We hypothesized that (i) European vespertilionid bat species have the digestive enzyme chitinase and that (ii) the chitinolytic activity is located in the intestine, as has been found for North American bat species. The gastrointestinal tracts of seven bat species (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Plecotus auritus, Myotis bechsteinii, Myotis nattereri, Myotis daubentonii, Myotis myotis, and Nyctalus leisleri) were tested for chitinolytic activity by diffusion assay. Gastrointestinal tracts of P. pipistrellus, P. auritus, M. nattereri, M. myotis, and N. leisleri were examined for acidic mammalian chitinase by western blot analysis. Tissue sections of the gastrointestinal tract of P. pipistrellus were immunohistochemically analyzed to locate the acidic mammalian chitinase. Chitinolytic activity was detected in the stomachs of all bat species. Western blot analysis confirmed the acidic mammalian chitinase in stomach samples. Immunohistochemistry of the P. pipistrellus gastrointestinal tract indicated that acidic mammalian chitinase is located in the stomach chief cells at the base of the gastric glands. In conclusion, European vespertilionid bat species have acidic mammalian chitinase that is produced in the gastric glands of the stomach. Therefore, the gastrointestinal tracts of insectivorous bat species evolved an enzymatic adaptation to their diet.

Show MeSH