The effect of prolonged and repetitive cooling of the preoptic/anterior hypothalamic area on the sensitivity to the metabolic effect of noradrenaline and on the resistance to cold exposure was studied in the white rat. The preoptic area of 18 unanesthetized animals was cooled 9 h/day 5 days/wk, for a total of 80-150 h. One hour after a noradrenaline test injection (0.4 mg/kg), the experimental animals in which the preoptic area had been cooled to about 24 degrees C increased oxygen uptake by 81%, whereas those in which the preoptic area had been cooled to about 28 degrees C increased oxygen uptake by 48% (the control animals by only 37%). Despite their increased capacity for nonshivering thermogenesis, the experimental animals did not tolerate cold exposure (-10 degrees C) better than the controls. This development of nonshivering thermogenesis is thought to have been mediated by the hypothalamic temperature-sensitive neurons, and the possibility that it could explain the shift from shivering to nonshivering thermogenesis seen during adaptation to cold is discussed.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Physiological Society