Physiological And Biochemical Zoology
Heterothermic rodents increase self-selection of diets rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) when exposed to cold, short days, or short-day melatonin profiles, and Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) do so in long days in response to cold exposure alone. To determine whether Djungarian hamsters are also capable of selecting a thermal environment in response to dietary lipid composition, continuously normothermic hamsters were fed either a PUF-rich diet or a diet rich in saturated fatty acids (SFAs) for 6-10 wk and given a choice of thermal environments. As predicted, SF-fed hamsters were more likely than PUFA-fed hamsters to occupy the single heated corner of their cage (P = 0.0005) and were most likely to show this diet-related difference in behavior when T a fell within the thermal neutral zone. Respirometry revealed no effect of diet on whole-animal or mass-specific resting metabolic rate or on lower critical temperature. The results are more consistent with the homeoviscous adaptation hypothesis, which predicts that organisms should make physiological and/or behavioral adjustments that preserve membrane fluidity within a relatively small range, than with the membrane pacemaker hypothesis, which predicts that high PUFA content in membrane phospholipids should increase basal metabolic rate.
Ryan Pannorfi , '04; Barry Michael Zee , '08; I. Vatnick; N. Berner; and Sara Hiebert Burch.
"Dietary Lipid Saturation Influences Environmental Temperature Preference But Not Resting Metabolic Rate In The Djungarian Hamster (Phodopus Sungorus)".
Physiological And Biochemical Zoology.