The effect of excesses and deficiencies in amino acids on the feeding behaviour of the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

J DeGabriel, W J Foley, I R Wallis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study of the amino acid nutrition of a marsupial we tested three hypotheses: (a) that brushtail possums eat less when diets contain excesses or deficiencies in essential amino acids, (b) that brushtail possums choose diets that do not contain amino acid excesses, and (c) that amino acid consumption is mediated partly by the 5HT(3) receptor. Possums ate less en 0.2-1.0% methionine (wet matter) was added to the diet, but similar concentrations of lysine and threonine ad little effect. However, when given a choice, possums always selected the basal ration over one with added lysine, methionine or threonine at concentrations between 0.05% and 0.9%. In contrast to the experiments with excess amino acids, possums did not eat less of a diet almost devoid of an essential amino acid. Instead, the possums ate less when their diets contained synthetic amino acids rather than similar amounts and proportions of amino acids as casein. Contrary to the third hypothesis, the 5HT(3) receptor antagonist, ondansetron, did not affect feeding by possums given a diet containing 0.8% methionine, suggesting that post-ingestive feedback, via the 5HT(3) receptor, does not regulate amino acid intake when diets contain amino acid excesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-617
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Volume172
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

Keywords

  • lysine
  • methionine
  • threonine
  • feeding
  • marsupial
  • ondansetron
  • NITROGEN REQUIREMENTS
  • FOOD-INTAKE
  • DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNTS
  • LYSINE DEFICIENCY
  • EUCALYPT FORESTS
  • DIET SELECTION
  • RATS
  • RESPONSES
  • MARSUPIALS
  • NUTRIENTS

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