Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Christopher Guglielmo

Second Advisor

Dr. Greg Kelly

Third Advisor

Dr-Scott MacDougall-Shackleton


Avian migratory flights are fuelled by fatty acids. Fatty acid transporters and oxidative enzymes are seasonally upregulated in flight muscle to meet the demands of this intense exercise. The effect of photoperiod and leptin on fatty acid transporters and enzymes was studied in captive birds. Sparrows exposed to migratory photoperiods increased flight muscle FAT∕CD36 and H-FABP mRNA by 154% and 589% respectively, and had 32% higher H-FABP protein than birds in a non-migratory photoperiod. Migrants increased activities of flight muscle CPT, CS and HOAD by 57%, 23% and 74% respectively, and decreased LDH activity by 31%. Photoperiod manipulations did not affect cardiac muscle transporter mRNA expressions or enzyme activities. Leptin did not affect transport proteins or enzymes in cardiac or skeletal muscle suggesting other factors may be involved. Photoperiod alone primed flight muscles for migratory flight, permitting ' ? 5 enhanced protein-mediated fatty acid transport and oxidation.



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