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Erythropoietic Porphyria of the Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Authors
  • Ephraim Yale Levin
  • Vagn Flyger
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1973
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine
License
Unknown

Abstract

Uroporphyrin I is found in high concentration in the bones, teeth, blood, soft tissues, and urine of the fox squirrel, Sciurus niger. The concentration of uroporphyrin in fox squirrel spleen is much higher than in liver, kidney or bone marrow, probably because of accumulation from phagocytosed red cells. Bleeding causes a marked increase in the uroporphyrin concentration of red cells and spleen, and a 3-8-fold increase in uroporphyrin excretion. Urinary excretion of δ-aminolevulinic acid and porphobilinogen is not greater in fox squirrels than in nonporphyric gray squirrels. Sciurus carolinensis, used as controls. In all these characteristics, as well as in the previously demonstrated deficiency of the enzyme uroporphyrinogen III cosynthetase in red cells, the physiological porphyria of fox squirrels resembles congenital erythropoietic porphyria, a hereditary disease of man and cattle. For squirrels differ in showing no evidence of cutaneous photosensitivity or hemolytic anemia.

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