Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 189, Issue 1, pp 153–165 | Cite as

Effects of thyroid hormones and cold acclimation on the energy metabolism of the striped hamster (Cricetulus barabensis)

  • Jing Wen
  • Qing-gang Qiao
  • Zhi-jun Zhao
  • De-hua Wang
  • Wei-hong Zheng
  • Zuo-xin Wang
  • Jin-song LiuEmail author
Original Paper


To examine the effects of low ambient temperature and thyroid hormones on the energy metabolism of the striped hamster (Cricetulus barabensis), adult male striped hamsters were kept at 30 °C, or acclimated to 5 °C, for 4 weeks. During this time, hamsters were treated with a synthetic thyroxine, levothyroxine sodium (LTS), the antithyroid drug methimazole, or saline solution (control). Hamster’s food intake, basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST), thyroid hormones, body fat content, mitochondrial state-4 respiration, cytochrome c oxidase, and uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) gene expression in brown adipose tissue (BAT), were measured. Both acclimation to 5 °C and LTS increased serum levels of triiodothyronine, which was associated with increased food and energy intake and BMR. Interestingly, although acclimation to 5 °C also increased NST and UCP1 gene expression in BAT, and decreased body fat content, these changes were not induced by LTS treatment. Finally, exposure to 5 °C reduced the effects of LTS on energy intake and expenditure in specific metabolic markers and organs. Together, these data illustrate that ambient temperature and thyroid hormones can have both independent, and interactive, effects on the metabolic changes in striped hamsters induced by cold acclimation.


Thyroid hormones Cold adaptation Thermogenesis Triiodothyronine Thyroxine 



This work was funded by Grants (no. 31670417) from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and also partly supported by grants (no. Chinese IPM1704) from the State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents.

Supplementary material

360_2018_1197_MOESM1_ESM.doc (38 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 38 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Wen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qing-gang Qiao
    • 1
  • Zhi-jun Zhao
    • 1
  • De-hua Wang
    • 2
  • Wei-hong Zheng
    • 1
  • Zuo-xin Wang
    • 3
  • Jin-song Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Life and Environmental ScienceWenzhou UniversityWenzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and Program in NeuroscienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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