Stimulatory effects of cold exposure and cold acclimation on glucose uptake in rat peripheral tissues

Am J Physiol. 1990 Nov;259(5 Pt 2):R1043-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1990.259.5.R1043.


The effects of cold exposure on the net rates of 2-[3H]deoxy-D-glucose uptake (Ki) in rat peripheral tissues were investigated comparatively in warm- and cold-acclimated animals to determine whether cold acclimation induces regulatory alterations in glucose metabolism. Acute exposure of warm-acclimated (25 degrees C) rats to cold (48 h at 5 degrees C) markedly increased the Ki values in red and white skeletal muscles (2-5 times), in the heart (8 times), in several white adipose tissue (WAT) depots (4-20 times), and in brown adipose tissue (BAT) (110 times). After cold acclimation (3 wk at 5 degrees C), the Ki values further increased in the heart (15 times) and WAT (up to 29 times) but decreased in BAT (36 times). Remarkably, glucose uptake was still increased in muscles of cold-exposed/cold-acclimated animals (that do not shiver), demonstrating that enhanced glucose uptake may occur in muscles in the absence of shivering thermogenesis (or contractile activity). When cold-acclimated rats were returned to the warm for 18 h, the Ki values of all tissues, except WAT, returned to control levels. Cold exposure synergistically potentiated the stimulation of tissue glucose uptake induced by a maximal effective dose of insulin (0.5 U/kg iv) in warm- as well as in cold-acclimated animals.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Deoxyglucose / pharmacokinetics
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose