Liver protein metabolism response to cold in genetically obese (ob/ob) mice

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THE response of obese (ob/ob) mice to the cold is reportedly impaired to the extent that they die 3–6 h after exposure. They also increase their oxygen consumption to a lesser extent than do their lean littermates in response to the cold1,2. As ob/ob mice have increased insulation due to excess body fat and respond in this way to the cold before the phenotypic expression of obesity, impaired thermogenesis seems to be a primary feature of this strain of genetic obesity. Adult obese Zucker rats also show impaired thermogenesis when exposed to cold and their mean survival time is 28 h (ref. 2). The nature and control of this thermogenesis and its possible relevance to energy balance is unclear. The involvement of protein metabolism and the energy cost of protein turnover has been postulated by3–6. Acclimatisation to the cold increases protein turnover in rats6 and in lean (Ob/+) mice (unpublished observations).

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MILLER, B., GRIMBLE, R. & TAYLOR, T. Liver protein metabolism response to cold in genetically obese (ob/ob) mice. Nature 266, 184–186 (1977) doi:10.1038/266184a0

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