Coupling of signals to brown fat: α and β adrenergic responses in intact rats

K. E. Flaim, Barbara A Horwitz, J. M. Horowitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

58 Scopus citations


The present study examines the effects of α- and β-adrenergic antagonists (phentolamine and propranolol, respectively) and agonists (phenylephrine, isoproterenol) on the neurally induced temperature changes and membrane potentials of interscapular brown adipocytes. These studies, performed in vivo with anesthetized rats, indicate that both α- and β-adrenergic components are associated with the biphasic temperature changes observed following sympathetic activation of the tissue. Specifically, the initial transient temperature decrease seen after brown fat stimulation appeared to reflect vasoconstriction mediated primarily via α-receptors, while the subsequent rise in tissue temperature was associated primarily (though perhaps not entirely) with β-adrenergic pathways. In contrast, the redistribution of ions across the membrane of the brown adipocyte, a phenomenon manifested as a membrane depolarization, was elicited by phenylephrine (an α-agonist) as well as by isoproterenol (a β-agonist), with the magnitude of the isoproterenol-induced depolarization being comparable to that of the phenylephrine-induced effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Journal of Physiology
StatePublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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