Skip to main content

Data from: Feeding effects on liver mitochondrial bioenergetics of Boa constrictor (Serpentes: Boidae)

Cite this dataset

Sartori, Marina R. et al. (2021). Data from: Feeding effects on liver mitochondrial bioenergetics of Boa constrictor (Serpentes: Boidae) [Dataset]. Dryad.


Snakes are interesting examples of overcoming energy metabolism challenges as many species can endure long periods without feeding, and their eventual meals are of reasonably large sizes, thus exhibiting dual extreme adaptations. Consequently, metabolic rate increases considerably to attend to the energetic demand of digestion, absorption and, protein synthesis. These animals should be adapted to transition from these two opposite states of energy fairly quickly, and therefore we investigated mitochondrial function plasticity in these states. Herein we compared liver mitochondrial bioenergetics of the boid snake Boa constrictor during fasting and after meal intake. We fasted the snakes for 60 days, then we fed a subgroup with 30% of their body size and evaluated their maximum postprandial response. We measured liver respiration rates from permeabilized tissue and isolated mitochondria, and from isolated mitochondria, we also measured Ca2+ retention capacity, the release of H2O2, and NAD(P) redox state. Mitochondrial respiration rates were maximized after feeding, reaching until 60% increase from fasting levels when energized with complex I-linked substrates. Interestingly, fasting and fed snakes exhibited similar respiratory control ratios and citrate synthase activity. Furthermore, we found no differences in Ca2+ retention capacity, indicating no increase in susceptibility to mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP), or redox state of NAD(P), although fed animals exhibited increases in the release of H2O2. Thus, we conclude that liver mitochondria from B. constrictor snakes increase the maintenance costs during the postprandial period and quickly improve the mitochondrial bioenergetics capacity without compromising the redox balance.

Usage notes

1. Fig 1_Liver permeabilized tissue OCR

2. Fig 2 _Liver isolated mitochondrial OCR

3. Fig 3_Mitochondrial Ca2+ retention capacity

4. Fig 4_Mitochondrial redox state


Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado da Bahia, Award: 6168/2016

Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia (INCT) em Fisiologia Comparada, Award: 08/57712-4

São Paulo Research Foundation, Award: 2017/05487-6; 2019/220855-7; 2020/12962-5