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Nonshivering thermogenesis in the African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi

Nowack, J, Dausmann, KH and Mzilikazi, N (2013) Nonshivering thermogenesis in the African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216 (20). ISSN 0022-0949

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Abstract

The capacity for nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) plays an important role during arousal from torpid states. Recent data on heterotherms inhabiting warmer regions, however, suggest that passive rewarming reduces the need of metabolic heat production during arousal significantly, leading to the question: to what extent do subtropical or tropical heterotherms depend on NST? The African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi, enters torpid states as an emergency response only, but otherwise stays normothermic throughout the cold and dry winter season. In addition, this species shows unusual rewarming difficulties during arousal from torpor on cold days. We therefore examined the seasonal adjustments of the capacity for NST of naturally acclimatized G. moholi by stimulation with noradrenaline (NA) injection. Dissection of two adult female bushbabies revealed that G. moholi possesses brown adipose tissue, and NA treatment (0.5 mg kg−1, s.c.) induced a significant elevation in oxygen consumption compared with control (saline) injection. However, the increase in oxygen consumption following injection of NA was not significantly different between winter and summer. Our results show that the ability to produce heat via NST seems to be available throughout the year and that G. moholi is able to change NST capacity within a very short time frame in response to cold spells. Together with results from studies on other (Afro-)tropical heterotherms, which also indicate low or even absent seasonal difference in NST capacity, this raises the question of whether the definition of NST needs to be refined for (Afro-)tropical mammals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 11 Medical and Health Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: The Company of Biologists
Date Deposited: 05 May 2021 12:47
Last Modified: 05 May 2021 12:47
DOI or Identification number: 10.1242/jeb.089433
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14948

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