• cold acclimation;
  • exercise;
  • creatine kinase;
  • lactate dehydrogenase;
  • lactate dehydrogenase isoenzymes

The effects of cold acclimation on the activity levels of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase isoenzymes in various tissues/ organs of the rat (Rattus norvegicus) were investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups. One group was housed at 4±1°C (experimental group) and the other at 24±1°C (control group) for six months. The rats were housed in single cages and had access to food and water ad libitum. The tissues/organs investigated were heart, liver, lung, kidney, gastrocnemius muscle and interscapular brown adipose tissue as well as serum. With the exception of lung, (which showed a decrease of 24%) total creatine kinase activity levels were significantly increased (P< 0.05) in all the tissues/organs investigated (17–51%) as well as serum (34%), in cold acclimated animals. Cold acclimation also resulted in significantly increased (P< 0.05) activity levels of lactate dehydrogenase in all the tissues/organs investigated (14–24%) as well as serum (35%). Cold exposure resulted in an increase of the activity levels of all the detectable isoenzymes of lactate dehydrogenase, although not always significant, in all the tissues/organs investigated as well as serum. The M4tetramer of lactate dehydrogenase was the only detectable isoenzyme in serum.