1Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA; 2Section of Zoological Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA; 3Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; 4Division of Comparative Pathology, Department of Pathology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
A retrospective study was conducted on banked heparinized plasma samples (n=139) collected from healthy Grand Cayman iguanas (Cyclura lewisi) on Grand Cayman to measure protein fractions via protein electrophoresis (EPH). Data were analyzed by year (2004–2011), season (summer [n=67] vs. fall [n=72]), age class (juveniles [n=80] vs. adults [n=59]), origin (wild [n=17] vs. captive [n=122]), and gender (unknown=2, males=69, females=68). When juveniles were excluded from analysis, gender significantly (p<0.05) influenced albumin and α1 globulins with higher values in females and males, respectively. Albumin was not significantly influenced by year, season, age class, or origin. All globulins fractions were significantly related to age class with higher values in adults, and all except γ globulins were significantly influenced by season with higher values in the fall. A significant relationship was also present between α2 and β globulins and year with an increase in these fractions over time. In addition, β globulins were significantly related to origin, being higher in wild iguanas. By using the combined data, the protein EPH fractions (mean±standard deviation) are as follows: total protein 7.8±1.6 g/dL, albumin 3.31±0.5 g/dL, α1 globulins 0.79±0.18, α2 globulins 0.20±0.05 g/dL, β globulins 2.60±0.90 g/dL, γ globulins 0.87±0.41 g/dL, and albumin/globulin ratio 0.80±0.21.
Knowledge of reference intervals for protein EPH fractions in this critically endangered species will aid in the care and management of both captive and wild Cyclura spp. populations.
The authors thank the WCS and Blue Iguana Recovery Programme staff and volunteers who participate in this endangered species recovery effort and are grateful for their assistance with data and sample collection. The authors also thank the St. Matthews Veterinary School for provision of laboratory space on Grand Cayman, David Powell for discussing statistical analysis of the data, and Joan Maurer and the Milwaukee County Zoo and Society for project support.