2007 年 56 巻 4 号 p. 279-288
The house musk shrew (Suncus murinus), or so-called suncus, is a cold-intolerant mammal, but it is unclear why it is susceptible to low temperatures. Cold-intolerance may be the result of lower thermogenic activity in brown adipose tissue (BAT). The early phase of severe cold exposure is a critical period for suncus. Therefore, we exposed suncus to mildly cold temperatures (10-12°C) for 1 to 48 h to increase non-shivering thermogenesis without causing stress and measured changes in the expression of uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1), type II iodothyronine 5'-deiodinase (Dio2=D2), and glucose transporter 4 (Slc2a4=Glut4) in BAT. These mRNAs play a major role in non-shivering thermogenesis and are mainly regulated by the sympathetic nervous system via direct β-noradrenergic innervation of BAT. During cold exposure, Ucp1 expression in BAT increased steadily over time, albeit only slightly. Neither D2 nor Glut4 expression in BAT increased immediately; however, they had increased significantly after 24 h and 48 h of cold exposure. These findings suggest that the responsiveness of mRNA regulation is weak and thus may be involved in cold-intolerance in suncus.