Plasma glucose, free fatty acid and uric acid levels were measured in lead-poisoned Canada geese (Branta canadensis). Although plasma glucose levels were only slightly elevated, uric acid was significantly higher and free fatty acids were significantly lower. Altered plasma levels were attributed to increased protein catabolism and perhaps renal disfunction. Plasma level of growth hormone and prolactin was assessed by radioimmunoassay. Growth hormone remained unchanged while prolactin was unusually high. The increased prolactin levels may reflect an effort to stabilize free fatty acids.

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Author notes


This paper is #128 in the Physiology of Migration Series, University of Guelph.


Present address: G. L. March, 5th floor, 1111 West Georgia St., Vancouver, B.C. V6E 3G7.


Department of Zoology.


Department of Pathology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.