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FASEB J. 2013 Sep;27(9):3871-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-230631. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Sarcolipin trumps β-adrenergic receptor signaling as the favored mechanism for muscle-based diet-induced thermogenesis.

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  • 1University of Waterloo, Department of Kinesiology, 200 University Ave. W., ON, Canada N2L 3G1.


Sarcolipin (SLN) regulates muscle-based nonshivering thermogenesis and is up-regulated with high-fat feeding (HFF). To investigate whether other muscle-based thermogenic systems compensate for a lack of Sln and to firmly establish SLN as a mediator of diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT), we measured muscle and whole-body energy expenditure in chow- and high-fat-fed Sln(-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice. Following HFF, resting muscle metabolic rate (VO2, μl/g/s) was increased similarly in WT (0.28±0.02 vs. 0.31±0.03) and Sln(-/-) (0.23±0.03 vs. 0.35±0.02) mice due to increased sympathetic nervous system activation in Sln(-/-) mice; however, whole-body metabolic rate (VO2, ml/kg/h) was lower in Sln(-/-) compared with WT mice following HFF but only during periods when the mice were active in their cages (WT, 2894±87 vs. Sln(-/-), 2708±61). Treatment with the β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) antagonist propranolol during HFF completely prevented muscle-based DIT in Sln(-/-) mice; however, it had no effect in WT mice, resulting in greater differences in whole-body metabolic rate and diet-induced weight gain. Our results suggest that β-AR signaling partially compensates for a lack of SLN to activate muscle-based DIT, but SLN is the primary and more effective mediator.


calcium cycling; energy expenditure; obesity; skeletal muscle

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