Regional blood flow in rats after a single low-protein, high-carbohydrate test meal.

Z. Glick, S. J. Wickler, J. S. Stern, Barbara A Horwitz

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21 Scopus citations


It was previously observed that a single low-protein, high-carbohydrate test meal results in increased in vitro thermic activity of brown adipose tissue. In the present study, we have examined whether such a meal increases the in vivo thermic activity, estimated from measurement of the rate of blood flow. With radioactively labeled microspheres, blood flows into brown fat and several other tissues were determined in meal-deprived (n = 11) and meal-fed (n = 11) rats. The microspheres were injected into the heart of anesthetized animals about 2-2.5 h after the test meal, one injection in the resting state and one during maximal norepinephrine stimulation. In the resting state, blood flow per gram tissue more than doubled in the brown fat (P less than 0.05) and was increased more than 50% in the heart (P less than 0.01) of the fed group. Blood flows into liver and retroperitoneal white fat were reduced by 40 (P less than 0.01) and 30%, respectively, in the fed group. During norepinephrine infusion, significant meal-associated increases in blood flow were evident only in brown fat (P less than 0.05) and the soleus muscle (P less than 0.05), whereas a significant decrease was observed in the liver (P less than 0.05). No statistically significant meal-associated changes in norepinephrine-stimulated blood flow were found in the other tissues examined (i.e., heart, gastrocnemius, and diaphragm muscles, kidneys, white fat, spleen, and adrenals). Our in vivo data thus support the view that brown fat plays a role in the thermic effect of a meal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe American journal of physiology
Issue number1 Pt 2
StatePublished - Jul 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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