Effects of acute cold exposure on rectal temperature, blood glucose and plasma free fatty acids in alloxan-diabetic rats
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These experiments were carried out to study the effects of acute cold exposure (0-2°C/4 hr) on rectal temperature, blood glucose and plasma free fatty acids (FFA) in alloxan-diabetic rats. Male Wistar rats weighing 170-190 g were used and diabetes was induced by i.v. alloxan injection (40 mg/kg body wt). Cold exposure produced severe hypothermia in diabetic rats. After 4 hr of cold, blood glucose of diabetic rats was reduced from 296±16 to 86t±12 mg/dl (P<0.01), and FFA increased slightly, but was not statistically different (P>0.05) from the initial value. As expected, interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT) and retroperitoneal and epididymal white adipose tissues were significantly lower in diabetic than in control rats. Cold exposure reduced total IBAT lipids in control but not in diabetic animals. The results of this experiment suggest that diabetic rats were unable to maintain body temperature in the cold, probably because of a failure to generate an adequate amount of heat by nonshivering thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue.