I’m excited to announce our latest publication, which details how naked mole-rats turn off non-shivering thermogenesis in intrascapular brown adipose tissue to save energy in hypoxia. Our study demonstrates that not only are naked mole-rats heterothermic, but that they can rapidly modulate heat production in hypoxia via a novel mechanism that decreases expression of the key thermogenic protein UCP1. Furthermore, similar changes were observed in other social mole-rat species but not a solitary species, suggesting this adaptation may have evolved preferentially in social rodents.
This work was funded by a National Geographic Explorers Grant and was the result of an exciting collaboration with Dr. Nigel Bennett of the University of Pretoria, Glenn Tattersall of Brock University, and Mary-Ellen Harper and Baptiste Lacoste of uOttawa.
Read the full study here: https://rdcu.be/cBR7d
Read a commentary here:
Read some press coverage here: