Navigation Links
Weighing up the secrets of African elephant body fat

A research team from The University of Nottingham has carried out the first molecular characterisation of the African elephant's adipose tissue body fat. This new information will form the basis of future studies aimed at securing the health and future survival of captive elephants.

The population of captive elephants, both Asian and African, in Europe and North America is not self-sustaining, largely due to poor fertility, resulting in a fewer baby elephants being born. It is acknowledged that if a solution for these reproductive difficulties cannot be found quickly, captive elephants will face demographic extinction in North American zoos within the next 50 years.

This new study, carried out by a team of scientists at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, will form the building blocks for later studies that will help scientists start to identify important dietary components for health and reproduction in African elephants to enable better management of this species in captivity and in the wild.

The research, Molecular Characterization of Adipose Tissue in the African Elephant, led by Dr Lisa Yon, and in equal part by her colleagues Dr Nigel Mongan, Dr Richard Emes and Dr Alison Mostyn, has been published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

Using expertise in molecular biology and bioinformatics at the Nottingham vet school and with access to unique samples from the African elephant researchers were able to explore some important basic biological questions to achieve a better understanding of elephants.

Leptin a hormone made by fat cells to regulate the amount of fat stored in the body is a crucial molecular link between nutritional status, amount of adipose tissue and fertility in many species. This research has shown that it has a similar function in the African elephant.

Dr Yon said: "This research provides important information on the structure and function of adipose tissue in the African elephant, highlighting the crucial genes and nutrients present during different times of life particularly reproduction and lactation."

Since the discovery of Leptin, adipose tissue has been shown to play a key role in reproduction, energy sensing and regulation, and inflammatory responses. It has been linked with reproductive activity both in terms of the onset of puberty and in maintenance of reproductive function so it may play an important role in building up and maintaining the elephant's reserves to ensure health and fertility.

This work forms an important first step to help maintain a healthy, reproductively viable captive population. This would also eliminate the need to catch additional animals from the wild to supplement the captive population.

Dr Yon said: "The information we gained can help us to know how to better provide for elephants' dietary needs, and what possible impact this may have on their reproductive success. These same methods can be applied to further our understanding on a range of domestic or non-domestic species."

Elephant samples were obtained from management-organized culling operations in Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) in Zimbabwe during 2009�. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA) gave permits to SVC to cull the animals and SVC gave the authors permission to use the samples. No animals were killed specifically for this study, and all permission was obtained from the relevant authorities.


Contact: Lindsay Brooke
University of Nottingham

Related medicine news :

1. Weighing in: 3 years post-op bariatric surgery patients see big benefits, Pitt study says
2. Scientists reveal structural secrets of enzyme used to make popular anti-cholesterol drug
3. Scientists unlock secrets of protein produced by disease-causing fungus
4. Self-Esteem Elevation For Children Coaching Certification Review: Secrets And Benefits of This Program Exposed By Tinia Assaraf From The Website
5. Fast Hidradenitis Suppurativa Cure Review: Secrets and Benefits of This Program Exposed by Fabianne Grace From the Website - HealthReviewCenter
6. Weight Loss Secrets of the Master Cleanse Detox Exposed By Detox Dieter
7. 5 Tips to Lose Stomach Fat Review Discloses the Secrets to Stubborn Belly Fat Removal
8. Fibroids Miracle Review Discloses the Secrets to Naturally Healing Fibroids
9. New Muscle Maximizer Review From Looks at Secrets Behind Product's Success
10. Blood Pressure Reduction Guide Review
11. Secrets And Benefits Of Exposed By Tom Roye
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... Peoria, IL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Rodney E. Willey ... His new venture, Koala Center for Sleep Disorders, provides treatment for snoring and ... dentists who have opened a Koala Center for Sleep Disorders in the US, one of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Bibliomotion is thrilled to ... Me about Reinvention and Diversity by Nancy M. Schlichting, Chief Executive Officer ... failing to adequately address the needs of patients and their families, shaped my desire ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... World Patent ... Blending, a household invention that revolutionizes the vending machine industry by providing healthy ... is worth $2 billion," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... announces Fragrance by Marcelle, a cosmetic invention which offers a combination of natural ... Market in the US is worth $3 billion annually," says Scott Cooper, CEO ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... “I am so thrilled, as a newbie here, to leave a mark for the ... School Lounge Makeover® from California Casualty . Stephanie is in her fifth year teaching ... longer tenure. , “This is such an amazing school and we deserve a space where ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Sectra (STO: SECT B) ... into a multi-year agreement to deploy Breast Imaging ... provide the Breast Center a future-proof platform capable of ... SECT B) announces that Breast Center of Acadiana ... Breast Imaging PACS in its two freestanding imaging centers. This ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ASDS ... of Directors has declared a special 1 percent stock dividend ... payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of record December 7, ... additional shares of common stock. --> ... a strong endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s growth strategy ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 iRhythm Technologies, Inc. , a leading digital ... that it will participate in the 27th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare ... York, NY . Kevin King , Chief Executive ... 2015 at 8:50am ET. --> ... --> . --> iRhythm is a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: