Abstract The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) has a strong adaptability to a hypoxic plateau environment. We found that the sperm-specific lactate dehydrogenase (LDH-C4) gene is expressed in plateau pika brain. In order to shed light on the role of LDH-C4 in plateau pika brain, we determined the expression levels of Ldh-c gene in plateau pika brain by real-time PCR and western blot. After injecting N-isopropyl oxamate, a LDH-C4 specific inhibitor, in skeletal muscle of hind legs, the activities of LDH, and the contents of LD and ATP in plateau pika brain were measured. The results indicated that the expression levels of Ldh-c mRNA and protein were 0.38±0.05 and 0.74±0.13. Thirty minutes after 1 mL 1 mol/L N-isopropyl oxamate in was injected into the biceps femoris muscle, the concentration of N-isopropyl oxamate in blood was 0.08 mmol/L；the LDH activities, the contents of LD and ATP in the brains of the inhibitor group were decreased significantly compared with that of the control group, and the inhibition rates of N-isopropyl oxamate to LDH, LD and ATP in plateau pika brain were 30.78%, 46.47% and 21.04%, respectively. These results indicated that the sperm-specific lactate dehydrogenase gene is expressed in plateau pika brain, and the pika brain got at least 20% ATP for its life activities by catalyzing anaerobic glycolysis. As a result, the plateau pika may reduce dependence on oxygen and enhance the adaptation to the hypoxic environments.