1. Department of Occupational & Environmental Health and the Ministry of Education Key Lab of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China
2. Immunology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065, USA
Cold adaptation is a body's protective response to cold stress. Mild chronic intermittent cold (CIC) exposure has been used to generate animal models for cold adaptation studies. However, the effects of mild CIC exposure on vital organs are not completely characterized. In the present study, we exposed rats to mild CIC for two weeks, and then measured the body weights, the weights of brown adipose tissue (BAT), the levels of ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the brains, livers, hearts, muscles and BATs. Rats formed cold adaptation after exposure to CIC for two weeks. Compared to rats of the control group that were hosted under ambient temperature, rats exposed to mild CIC showed a lower average body weight, but a higher weight of brown adipose tissue (BAT). Rats exposed to CIC for two weeks also exhibited higher levels of ATP and ROS in all examined organs as compared to those of the control group. In addition, we determined the expression levels of cold-inducible RNA binding protein (Cirbp) and thioredoxin (TRX) in rat tissues after 2 weeks of CIC exposure. Both Cirbp and TRX were increased, suggesting a role of these two proteins for establishment of cold adaptation. Together, this study reveals the effects of mild CIC exposure on vital organs of rats during CIC exposure.
Keywords: Chronic intermittent cold exposure, cold adaptation, cold inducible RNA binding protein, reactive oxidative stress, thioredoxin