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Effects of thyroid status on cold-adaptive thermogenesis in Brandt's vole, Microtus brandti

Effects of thyroid status on cold-adaptive thermogenesis in Brandt's vole, Microtus brandti

Physiological Zoology 70(3): 352-361

Hyper- and hypothyroidism were induced by subcutaneous injection of thyroxine and by oral administration of methimazol in Brandt's voles. The effects of the two treatments on metabolic thermogenesis at 25 degrees C and 4 degrees C were investigated. The level of resting metabolic rate was closely related to thyroid status: high in the hyperthyroid case and low in the hypothyroid case. However, no increase in resting metabolic rate occurred in either case during further cold acclimation. Hyperthyroidism resulted in an increased nonshivering thermogenesis, which was much enhanced by lower temperature, but hypothyroidism led to a suppressed nonshivering thermogenesis in the cold. The state-4 and state-3 respirations and the activities of cytochrome-c oxidase of liver mitochondria were elevated in hyperthyroid animals but attenuated in hypothyroid ones. However, these levels were scarcely changed after further cold acclimation. Both hyperthyroidism and cold acclimation induced the recruitment of brown adipose tissue, but brown adipose tissue was different biochemically in the two cases: in hyperthyroidism, the total protein was reduced, while fat content increased; in cold acclimation, the total and mitochondrial proteins were increased. However, in hypothyroid voles, the normal adaptive changes in brown adipose tissue were impaired in further cold acclimation. The activity of cytochromec oxidase in brown adipose tissue was increased by hyperthyroidism and enhanced in further cold. In contrast, its activity was inhibited in hypothyroid animals, though activated to some extent in cold. These results demonstrate that normal thyroid function is essential for the cold-induced increase of resting metabolic rate and nonshivering thermogenesis and that there is a synergism between thyroid hormone and cold acclimation in the regulation of nonshivering thermogenesis in Brandt's vole. In addition, the blunted response of brown adipocytes to the cold may be the cytological mechanism for the suppressed nonshivering thermogenesis found with hypothyroidism.

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Accession: 008584658

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9231409

DOI: 10.2307/30164322

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