Author(s): Malik SS, Fewell JE
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Abstract Experiments were carried out to determine the role of nitric oxide in mediating autonomic and behavioral thermoregulatory control in rat pups on postnatal days 1-2, 5-6, and 10-11. For an experiment, each pup received a subcutaneous injection of vehicle, NG-nitro-D-arginine methyl ester (D-NAME; 100 mg/kg), or NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; 100 mg/kg) before being placed in a metabolic chamber or in a thermocline with a linear temperature gradient of 23 to 43 degrees C. In the metabolic chamber, oxygen consumption and core temperature were measured as ambient temperature was decreased from 40 to 15 degrees C over a 60-min period. Decreasing ambient temperature elicited an increase in oxygen consumption in all age groups that received vehicle or d-NAME. The lower critical temperature and peak oxygen consumption upon exposure to cold after vehicle were 41 +/- 10 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1) at 30 degrees C, 43 +/- 12 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1) at 28 degrees C, and 55 +/- 11 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1) at 25 degrees C in the 1- to 2-, 5- to 6-, and 10- to 11-day-old pups, respectively. Administration of L-NAME abolished the oxygen consumption response to cold in the 1- to 2- and 5- to 6-day-old pups and significantly attenuated the oxygen consumption response to cold in the 10- to 11-day-old pups. Selected ambient temperature in the thermocline was not significantly affected by prior administration of D-NAME or L-NAME compared with vehicle. Thus our data provide evidence that the nitric oxide system plays a role in mediating autonomic but not behavioral thermoregulatory control in rat pups during early postnatal maturation.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access