Influence of age and gender on brown adipose tissue norepinephrine turnover

R. B. McDonald, J. S. Hamilton, Barbara A Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that the attenuated brown adipose tissue thermogenic capacity observed previously in cold-exposed 27-month-old male versus female Fischer 344 rats might result, in part, from blunted sympathetic signaling to the tissue. As an index of sympathetic activity to brown fat, norepinephrine (NE) turnover in this tissue was evaluated at rest (22-24°C) and during 1.5 hr of cold exposure (6°C) in male and female Fischer 344 rats, aged 6, 12, and 26 months. Resting NE turnover as well as the rate constant for NE efflux from brown fat, expressed as total and as per gram of tissue protein, did not, in general, differ from age or gender. During cold exposure, rate constants and NE turnover rates increased significantly from those at rest in all groups. Brown fat NE turnover in cold-exposed 26-month-old male rats was greater than that observed in age-matched females, suggesting greater, not less, sympathetic signaling in the males versus females. These data indicate that the attenuated brown fat thermogenic capacity as well as the blunted cold-induced thermogenic responses of cold-exposed older male versus female rats reported previously cannot be explained by diminished release of NE from sympathetic nerves innervating brown adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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