Brown adipose tissue
Uncoupling protein mRNA
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The bilateral lobe of interscapular brown adipose tissue of the Djungarian hamster was unilaterally denervated in order to study the role of the sympathetic innervation for maintenance and cold-induced increase of non-shivering thermogenesis. Denervation decreased the noradrenaline content of brown adipose tissue to less than 9% of the intact contralateral pad. This low noradrenaline level was maintained for 1–14 days after denervation. First, to study the role of the sympathetic innervation of brown adipose tissue in the maintenance of the high thermogenic capacity characteristic of the cold acclimated state, brown adipose tissue was denervated in hamsters either kept at thermoneutrality or acclimated to 5°C ambient temperature for 4 weeks. Cold-acclimated hamsters had elevated levels of uncoupling protein messenger ribonucleic acid (8.1-fold) and cytochrom-c oxidase-activity (3-fold). Denervation of brown adipose tissue decreased uncoupling protein-messenger ribonucleic acid level and cytochrom-c-oxidase-activity as compared to the intact pad in thermoneutral and in cold-acclimated hamsters. However, in cold-acclimated hamsters uncoupling protein-messenger ribonucleic acid level and cytochrom-c-oxidase-activity in denervated brown adipose tissue both were maintained on an elevated 6-fold higher levels as compared to thermoneutral controls. Second, to study the role of the sympathetic innervation of brown adipose tissue in the cold-induced increase in thermogenic capacity, hamsters were denervated prior to cold acclimation and responses were measured after 3 and 14 days of cold exposure. Uncoupling protein-messenger ribonucleic acid level and cytochrom-c-oxidase-activity of intact brown adipose tissue increased after 14 days cold acclimation. Denervation did not completely prevent a cold-induced 1.5-fold increase of cytochrom-c-oxidase-activity and a 3.2-fold increase of the uncoupling protein-messenger ribonucleic acid level in denervated brown adipose tissue after 14 days of cold acclimation. In conclusion, high levels of uncoupling protein-messenger ribonucleic acid and cytochrom-c-oxidase activity in brown adipose tissue of cold-acclimated hamsters can partially be maintained without intact sympathetic innervation, suggesting a considerable contribution of trophic factors not requiring sympathetic innervation for maintenance. The cold-induced increase of cytochrom-c-oxidase activity and expression of uncoupling protein-messenger ribonucleic acid largely depends upon sympathetic innervation of brown adipose tissue.
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