Maximal thermogenic capacity and non shivering thermogenesis in the South American subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum
LUNA F; ROCA P; OLIVER J; ANTENUCCI CD
JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY B-BIOCHEMICAL SYSTEMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY
Lugar: HEIDELBERG; Año: 2012 vol. 182 p. 971 - 971
Subterranean rodents inhabit closed tunnel systems that are hypoxic and hypercapnic and buffer aboveground ambient temperature. Contrary to other strictly subterranean rodents, Ctenomys talarum exhibits activity on the surface during foraging and dispersion and hence, is exposed also to the aboveground environment. In this context, this species is a valuable model to explore how the interplay between underground and aboveground use affects the relationship among basal metabolic rate (BMR), cold-induced maximum metabolic rate (MMR), shivering (ST), and non-shivering thermogenesis (NST). In this work we provide the first evidence of the presence of NST, including the expression of uncoupling proteins in brown adipose tissue (BAT), and shivering thermogenesis in Ctenomys talarum, a species belonging to the most numerous subterranean genus, endemic to South America. Our results show no differences in BMR, cold-induced MMR, and NST between cold (15°C) and warm (25°C) acclimated individuals. Furthermore, thermal acclimation had no effect on the expression of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in BAT. Only cytocrome c oxidase (COX) content and activity increased during cold acclimation. When interscapular BAT was removed, NST decreased more than 30%, whereas cold-induced MMR remained unchanged. All together, these data suggest that cold-induced MMR reaches a maximum in warm acclimated individuals and so a probable ceiling in NST and UCP1 expression in BAT. Possible thermogenic mechanisms explaining the increase in the oxidative capacity, mediated by COX in BAT of cold acclimated individuals and the role of ST in subterranean life habits are proposed.