* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received February 16, 2009; Revision received March 25, 2009
Sorbitol content was determined in the digestive gland of freshwater snail (Viviparus viviparus L.) in different seasons and in a short-term experiment on the water temperature decrease and on intoxication with cadmium chloride. In the model experiments, changes in activities of enzymes involved in sorbitol metabolism (acid phosphatases, sorbitol dehydrogenase, and aldose reductase) were also studied. Sorbitol was accumulated by the snail in response to the temperature decrease (as a cryoprotectant) and under conditions of acute intoxication (as a probable metabolic regulator or a nonspecific protective factor). However, the mechanisms of this accumulation are different: on cold adaptation sorbitol is produced as a result of reduction of glucose under the influence of aldose reductase, and on intoxication sorbitol is mainly produced from fructose under the influence of sorbitol dehydrogenase. Pathways of the sorbitol accumulation and its re-involvement into metabolism are not always the same, and this might be a mechanism for regulation of carbohydrate metabolism (at the initial stage of glycolysis) on adaptation to unfavorable factors of the environment.
KEY WORDS: mollusks, cold adaptation, intoxication, cryoprotectants, sorbitol metabolism