Variations in gastric acid secretion during periods of fasting between two species of shark Article

Papastamatiou, YP, Lowe, CG. (2005). Variations in gastric acid secretion during periods of fasting between two species of shark . COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY, 141(2), 210-214. 10.1016/j.cbpb.2005.05.041

cited authors

  • Papastamatiou, YP; Lowe, CG


  • Vertebrates differ in their regulation of gastric acid secretion during periods of fasting, yet it is unknown why these differences occur. Elasmobranch fishes are the earliest known vertebrates to develop an acid secreting stomach and as such may make a good comparative model for determining the causative factors behind these differences. We measured gastric pH and temperature continuously during periods of fasting in captive free-swimming nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) using autonomous pH/temperature data-loggers. All nurse sharks secreted strong gastric acids (minimum pH 0.4) after feeding; however, for most of the sharks, pH increased to 8.2-8.7, 2-3 days after feeding. Half of the sharks also exhibited periodic oscillations in pH when the stomach was empty that ranged from 1.1 to 8.7 (acid secretion ceased for 11.3 ± 4.3 h day-1). This is in contrast to the gastric pH changes observed from leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) in a previous study, where the stomach remains acidic during fasting. The leopard shark is a relatively active, more frequently feeding predator, and continuous acid secretion may increase digestive efficiency. In contrast, the nurse shark is less active and is thought to feed less frequently. Periodic cessation of acid secretion may be an energy conserving mechanism used by animals that feed infrequently and experience extended periods of fasting. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 210

end page

  • 214


  • 141


  • 2