University of Oulu

Niiranen, L.; Mäkelä, K.A.; Mutt, S.J.; Viitanen, R.; Kaisanlahti, A.; Vicente, D.; Noponen, T.; Autio, A.; Roivainen, A.; Nuutila, P.; Saarela, S.; Herzig, K.-H. Role of Brown and Beige Adipose Tissues in Seasonal Adaptation in the Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 9623.

Role of brown and beige adipose tissues in seasonal adaptation in the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)

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Author: Niiranen, Laura1; Mäkelä, Kari A.1; Mutt, Shivaprakash J.1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Turku PET Centre, University of Turku, FI-20520 Turku, Finland
3Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
4Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
5Veterinary Hospital Mevet, 00380 Helsinki, Finland
6Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital, FI-20520 Turku, Finland
7Department of Medical Physics, Turku University Hospital, FI-20520 Turku, Finland
8Turku PET Centre, Turku University Hospital, FI-20520 Turku, Finland
9Turku Centre for Disease Modeling, Finland Department of Medical, University of Turku, FI-20520 Turku, Finland
10Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
11Medical Research Center Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
12Oulu University Hospital, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
13Institute of Pediatrics, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, 60-572 Poznań, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-23


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) expresses uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1), which enables energy to be exerted towards needed thermogenesis. Beige adipocytes are precursor cells interspersed among white adipose tissue (WAT) that possess similar UCP1 activity and capacity for thermogenesis. The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is a canid species that utilizes seasonal obesity to survive periods of food shortage in climate zones with cold winters. The potential to recruit a part of the abundant WAT storages as beige adipocytes for UCP1-dependent thermogenesis was investigated in vitro by treating raccoon dog adipocytes with different browning inducing factors. In vivo positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging with the glucose analog ¹⁸F-FDG showed that BAT was not detected in the adult raccoon dog during the winter season. In addition, UCP1 expression was not changed in response to chronic treatments with browning inducing factors in adipocyte cultures. Our results demonstrated that most likely the raccoon dog endures cold weather without the induction of BAT or recruitment of beige adipocytes for heat production. Its thick fur coat, insulating fat, and muscle shivering seem to provide the adequate heat needed for surviving the winter.

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Series: International journal of molecular sciences
ISSN: 1661-6596
ISSN-E: 1422-0067
ISSN-L: 1661-6596
Volume: 22
Issue: 17
Article number: 9623
DOI: 10.3390/ijms22179623
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
Funding: This study was supported financially by the Academy of Finland (grant #134048), Oulu Scholarship Foundation and Juho Vainio Foundation.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 134048
Detailed Information: 134048 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (