, Volume 225, Issue 2, pp 427-436

Effect of cold environment on skeletal muscle mitochondria in growing rats

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Growing rats (4 weeks old) were kept for 3 weeks at 11° C and 24° C respectively. The cold-adapted animals showed a significantly higher oxygen consumption (64%). Volume density of subsarcolemmal and interfibrillar mitochondria as well as volume density of fat droplets were estimated in M. soleus and the diaphragm of both groups. In cold-adapted animals, the total volume of mitochondria was significantly increased by 24% in diaphragm and 37% in M. soleus. The volume of subsarcolemmal mitochondria was almost doubled in each muscle, but the volume of interfibrillar mitochondria did not change significantly. The surface of the inner mitochondrial membranes per unit volume of mitochondrion in M. soleus was significantly increased both in interfibrillar and subsarcolemmal mitochondria, whereas the surface of the outer mitochondrial membranes per unit volume of mitochondrion was increased only in the subsarcolemmal mitochondria. The volume of fat droplets in the diaphragm and M. soleus of cold adapted animals increased significantly by 62% and 150% respectively.