• Strategy

Cell metabolism produces heat: mammals


Adipose cells from mice / MacDougland / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

Cells within brown adipose tissues of mammals and birds produce heat by uncoupling of mitochondrial respiration.

"Mammals and birds are endotherms and respond to cold exposure by the means of regulatory thermogenesis, either shivering or non-shivering. In this latter case, waste of cell energy as heat can be achieved by uncoupling of mitochondrial respiration. Uncoupling proteins [UCPs], which belong to the mitochondrial carrier family, are able to transport protons and thus may assume a thermogenic function. The mammalian UCP1 physiological function is now well understood and gives to the brown adipose tissue the capacity for heat generation. But is it really the case for its more recently discovered isoforms UCP2 and UCP3? Additionally, whereas more and more evidence suggests that non-shivering also exists in birds, is the avian UCP also involved in response to cold exposure? In this review, we consider the latest advances in the field of UCP biology and present putative functions for UCP1 homologues." (Mozo et al. 2005:227)
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Mozo, J.; Emre, Y.; Bouillaud, F.; Ricquier, D.; Criscuolo, F. 2005. Thermoregulation: What role for UCPs in mammals and birds?. Bioscience Reports. 25(3-4): 227-249.
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this video shows brown fat as a bat is waking up from sleep.
over 4 years ago
Thank you for catching that. I've added the full abstract and changed the title and summary sentence.
over 4 years ago
I think some mistake may have slipped in this strategy page.

I am not an expert, but I think that shivers and uncoupling of mitochondrial respiration are quite different mecanisms.

The first one is a series of quick contractions of skeletal muscles to produce heat by friction of muscle fibers.
The second one is a molecular mecanism that takes place in brown adipose tissue, and which is described in this page (citation and article).
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