Activities of 13 different enzymes were measured in the erythrocytes of juvenile and adult bandicoots, Isoodon macrourus. Seven of these enzymes had significantly (p < 0.05 or less) greater activities in the juveniles compared to the adult animals. The activity of one enzyme – phosphofructokinase – was significantly (p < 0.01) lower in the juveniles. However, the activity of NADH-methaemoglobin reductase (MR) was similar in the two groups of animals. The rates of lactate production using four different substrates (glucose, galactose, inosine and adenosine) were also higher in the juveniles. These results indicate that the erythrocytes of juvenile bandicoots are metabolically more active than those of the adult animals and follow the general pattern of higher metabolic activity in the young red cells in eutherian mammals, with possible exception of NADH-MR activity.

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