Physiological and biochemical changes associated with acute experimental dehydration in the desert adapted mouse, Peromyscus eremicus.

Academic Article


  • Characterizing traits critical for adaptation to a given environment is an important first step in understanding how phenotypes evolve. How animals adapt to the extreme heat and aridity commonplace to deserts is an exceptionally interesting example of these processes, and has been the focus of study for decades. In contrast to those studies, where experiments are conducted on either wild animals or captive animals held in non-desert conditions, the study described here leverages a unique environmental chamber that replicates desert conditions for captive Peromyscus eremicus (cactus mouse). Here, we establish baseline values for daily water intake and for serum electrolytes, as well as the response of these variables to acute experimental dehydration. In brief, P eremicus daily water intake is very low. Its serum electrolytes are distinct from many previously studied animals, and its response to acute dehydration is profound, though not suggestive of renal impairment, which is atypical of mammals.
  • Authors

  • Kordonowy, Lauren
  • Lombardo, Kaelina D
  • Green, Hannah L
  • Dawson, Molly D
  • Bolton, Evice A
  • LaCourse, Sarah
  • MacManes, Matthew
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 2017
  • Published In


  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Dehydration
  • Desert Climate
  • Drinking
  • Female
  • Male
  • Peromyscus
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance
  • desert
  • electrolyte
  • rodent
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • e13218
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 6