Brown fat and nonshivering thermogenesis in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).


The gray mouse lemur Microcebus murinus is a rare example of a primate exhibiting daily torpor. In captive animals, we examined the metabolic rate during arousal from torpor and showed that this process involved nonshivering thermogenesis (NST). Under thermoneutrality (28 degrees C), warming-up from daily torpor (body temperature <33 degrees C) involved a rapid (<5 min) increase of O(2) consumption that was proportional to the depth of torpor (n = 8). The injection of a beta-adrenergic agonist (isoproterenol) known to elicit NST induced a dose-dependent increase in metabolic rate (n = 8). Moreover, maximum thermogenesis was increased by cold exposure. For the first time in this species, anatomic and histological examination using an antibody against uncoupling protein (UCP) specifically demonstrated the presence of brown fat. With the use of Western blotting with the same antibody, we showed a likely increase in UCP expression after cold exposure, suggesting that NST is also used to survive low ambient temperatures in this tropical species.

Cite this paper

@article{Gnin2003BrownFA, title={Brown fat and nonshivering thermogenesis in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).}, author={François G{\'e}nin and Maryse Nibbelink and Marina Galand and Martine Perret and L. Ambid}, journal={American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology}, year={2003}, volume={284 3}, pages={R811-8} }