Body temperature and metabolic rate during natural hypothermia in endotherms

Abstract

During daily torpor and hibernation metabolic rate is reduced to a fraction of the euthermic metabolic rate. This reduction is commonly explained by temperature effects on biochemical reactions, as described by Q 10 effects or Arrhenius plots. This study shows that the degree of metabolic suppression during hypothermia can alternatively be explained by active downregulation of metabolic rate and thermoregulatory control of heat production. Heat regulation is fully adequate to predict changes in metabolic rate, and Q 10 effects are not required to explain the reduction of energy requirements during hibernation and torpor.

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Abbreviations

BMR:

basal metabolic rate

BW:

body weight

C:

thermal conductance

CHL :

thermal conductance as derived from HL

CHP :

thermal conductance as derived from HP

HL:

heat loss

HP:

heat production

MR:

metabolic rate

RQ:

respiratory quotient

Ta :

ambient temperature

Tb :

body temperature

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Correspondence to G. Heldmaier.

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Heldmaier, G., Ruf, T. Body temperature and metabolic rate during natural hypothermia in endotherms. J Comp Physiol B 162, 696–706 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00301619

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Key words

  • Dally torpor
  • Body temperature
  • Metabolic rate
  • Hibernation
  • Hamster, Phodopus sungorus