The intracellular pH (pHi) and the concentrations of lactate and selected modulators of phosphofructokinase (PFK; EC 2.7.1.11) were measured in white epaxial muscle of 15 °C-acclimated rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) maintained at 8, 15 or 22 °C for 48 h and sampled at rest and after 10 min of exhaustive exercise. The lactate accumulation resulting from exercise was 13 % smaller at 22 °C than at 8 and 15 °C. The estimated duration of burst performance was shorter at cold than at warm temperatures, whereas the average rate of lactate accumulation during burst performance was higher at 8 °C than at 15 and 22 °C. pHi rose when temperature decreased, but less than predicted by the imidazole alphastat hypothesis of Reeves. The effects of temperature on the pre-exercise concentrations of PFK modulators [adenylates, fructose 6-phosphate (F6P) and fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (FBP)] were generally negligible. In exhausted trout, adenylate concentrations were almost unaffected by temperature. In contrast, post-exercise FBP and F6P concentrations were significantly higher at low than at high temperatures. We interpret the response of F6P to temperature as an indication that the covariation of pHi and temperature is insufficient to prevent a cold-enhancement of PFK inhibition. Since F6P is a potent activator of PFK, we conclude that, in trout white muscle, thermally induced changes in F6P concentration probably help buffer the effects of temperature change on PFK activity.

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