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Physiol Behav. 2000 Oct 1-15;71(1-2):15-22.

Circadian rhythms of body temperature and metabolic rate in naked mole-rats.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Box U-154, Bldg. #4, Room 2, 3107 Horsebarn Hill Road, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


Body temperature (T(b)) and metabolic rate (O(2) consumption) were measured continuously in naked mole-rats. Circadian rhythms were observed for both parameters. Body temperature increased at the end of the light phase in a 12L:12D cycle in three of four animals. The remaining animal exhibited a freerunning rhythm of T(b). When animals had access to running wheels, the time of elevated T(b) coincided closely with the time of increased running wheel activity. Rhythms of T(b) continued following removal of the wheels, but the duration of increased T(b) was decreased as compared to the duration of T(b) elevation in the presence of wheels. Metabolic rate was increased at the same circadian phase as the increase in T(b) and running wheel activity. These observations extend our earlier findings on circadian rhythms of locomotor activity in naked mole-rats and suggest that the circadian system may have significant physiological functions in this subterranean rodent.

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