Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Biol. 2011 Jan 15;214(Pt 2):242-53. doi: 10.1242/jeb.050989.

Nonshivering thermogenesis and its adequate measurement in metabolic studies.

Author information

  • 1The Wenner-Gren Institute, The Arrhenius Laboratories F3, Stockholm University, Stockholm SE-106 91, Sweden. barbara.cannon@wgi.su.se

Abstract

Alterations in nonshivering thermogenesis are presently discussed as being both potentially causative of and able to counteract obesity. However, the necessity for mammals to defend their body temperature means that the ambient temperature profoundly affects the outcome and interpretation of metabolic experiments. An adequate understanding and assessment of nonshivering thermogenesis is therefore paramount for metabolic studies. Classical nonshivering thermogenesis is facultative, i.e. it is only activated when an animal acutely requires extra heat (switched on in minutes), and adaptive, i.e. it takes weeks for an increase in capacity to develop. Nonshivering thermogenesis is fully due to brown adipose tissue activity; adaptation corresponds to the recruitment of this tissue. Diet-induced thermogenesis is probably also facultative and adaptive and due to brown adipose tissue activity. Although all mammals respond to injected/infused norepinephrine (noradrenaline) with an increase in metabolism, in non-adapted mammals this increase mainly represents the response of organs not involved in nonshivering thermogenesis; only the increase after adaptation represents nonshivering thermogenesis. Thermogenesis (metabolism) should be expressed per animal, and not per body mass [not even to any power (0.75 or 0.66)]. A 'cold tolerance test' does not examine nonshivering thermogenesis capacity; rather it tests shivering capacity and endurance. For mice, normal animal house temperatures are markedly below thermoneutrality, and the mice therefore have a metabolic rate and food consumption about 1.5 times higher than their intrinsic requirements. Housing and examining mice at normal house temperatures carries a high risk of identifying false positives for intrinsic metabolic changes; in particular, mutations/treatments that affect the animal's insulation (fur, skin) may lead to such problems. Correspondingly, true alterations in intrinsic metabolic rate remain undetected when metabolism is examined at temperatures below thermoneutrality. Thus, experiments with animals kept and examined at thermoneutrality are likely to yield an improved possibility of identifying agents and genes important for human energy balance.

PMID:
21177944
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk