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Harley, E.H.; Paglia, D.; Weber, B., 1997. Oxidative damage and purine metabolism: investigation of haemolytic anaemia in the black rhinoceros. Clinical Biochemistry 30 (4): 259

Location: Africa
Subject: Physiology
Species: Black Rhino

Original text on this topic:
Objectives: To investigate purine and glutathione metabolism in a specific form of haemolytic anaemia with a possible free radical causation.
Design and Methods: Red blood cells from a number of mammalian species were examined with labelling techniques and HPLC for differences in purine, carbohydrate, and glutathione metabolism after exposure to oxidising agents.
Results: Nucleotide compositions differed markedly between species. Rhinoceros red cells contain levels of ATP which were only 2% of those found in man, despite which there is no major disability in pentose phosphate flux, lactate production, or carbohydrate cycling after exposure to oxidative agents. Red cell tyrosine concentrations, however, were found to be over 20-fold higher than in man.
Conclusion: The results suggest the major metabolic changes found in mammalian red cells may be adaptations to environmental variables, but which may be inappropriate in the captive state.

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