Short photoperiod enhances thermogenic capacity in Brandt's voles

Physiol Behav. 2005 Jun 2;85(2):143-9. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2005.03.014.


Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal's physiology and behavior. In the present study, we examined the effects of short photoperiod (SD) on body weight as well as on several physiological, hormonal, and biochemical measures indicative of thermogenic capacity to test our hypothesis that short photoperiod stimulates increases in thermogenesis without cold stress in Brandt's voles. SD voles showed increases in basal metabolic rate (BMR) and nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) during the 4-week photoperiod acclimation. At the end, these voles (SD) had lower body weights, higher levels of cytochrome C oxidase (COX) activity and mitochondrial uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) contents in brown adipose tissues (BAT), and higher concentrations of serum tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) compared to LD voles. No differences were found between male and female voles in any of the above-mentioned measurements. Together, these data indicate that SD experience enhances thermogenic capacity similarly in males and females of Brandt's voles.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Arvicolinae
  • Basal Metabolism / physiology
  • Basal Metabolism / radiation effects
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / radiation effects
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Body Weight / radiation effects
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Female
  • Ion Channels
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / radiation effects
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Photoperiod*
  • Thermogenesis / physiology*
  • Thermogenesis / radiation effects
  • Time Factors
  • Uncoupling Protein 1


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • Electron Transport Complex IV