DOI: 10.1101/478487Nov 26, 2018Paper

Effects of food restriction on body mass, energy metabolism and thermogenesis in a tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri)

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
xuena GongWanlong Zhu


This study investigates the energy strategies of a small mammal in response to food shortages as a function of food restriction (FR), metabolic rate and ambient temperature. We subjected tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) to FR and measured body mass, survival rate, resting metabolic rate (RMR), nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity of brown adipose tissue (BAT). Cold-exposed animals restricted to 80% of ad libitum food intake had significantly increased RMR and NST and decreased body mass and survival rates compared with those kept at room temperature on the same FR level. Animals classified has having a high RMR consumed 30.69% more food than those classified as having a low RMR, but showed no differences in body mass or survival when restricted to 80% of ad libitum food intake. These results indicate that tree shrews, known for their relatively high metabolic rates, are sensitive to periods of FR, which supports the metabolic switch hypothesis. Our findings are also consistent with the prediction that small mammals with food hoarding behaviors, like tree shrews, may have a lower tolerance for food shortages than non-hoarding species.

Related Concepts

Brown Fat
Cytochrome C Oxidase
Energy Metabolism
Trees (plant)
Diagnostic Algorithm

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