Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Guglielmo, Christopher G.

2nd Supervisor

Regnault, Timothy RH



Diets rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may alter the muscle metabolism of migratory birds, improving their endurance performance. I established and validated for the first time in vitro muscle models of a migratory songbird (yellow-rumped warbler, Setophaga coronata coronata) and shorebird (sanderling, Calidris alba). To evaluate the role of n-3 PUFA in improving fatty acid metabolism in migratory bird muscle, I measured metabolic outcomes following n-3 PUFA supplementation in these two avian cell types and a murine (Mus musculus, C2C12) cell line. PUFA supplementation in C2C12 cells increased metabolic transcription factor expression and increased mitochondrial respiratory chain efficiency. Migrant bird muscle cells did not display the same changes in transcriptional signaling, but sanderling cells increased basal and maximal oxygen consumption with n-3 PUFA supplementation. This research provides support for the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA increase aerobic capacity of a migrant sandpiper and efficiency in mammalian skeletal muscle.