Acute cold and exercise training up-regulate similar aspects of fatty acid transport and catabolism in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)


Summit maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate (Msum) and maximum exercise metabolic rate (MMR) both increase in response to acute cold or exercise training in birds. Because lipids are the main fuel supporting both thermogenesis and exercise in birds, adjustments to lipid transport and catabolic capacities may support elevated energy demands from cold and exercise training. To examine a potential mechanistic role for lipid transport and catabolism in organismal cross-Training effects (exercise effects on both exercise and thermogenesis, and vice versa), we measured enzyme activities and mRNA and protein expression in pectoralis muscle for several key steps of lipid transport and catabolism pathways in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) during acute exercise and cold training. Both training protocols elevated pectoralis protein levels of fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36), cytosolic fatty acid-binding protein, and citrate synthase (CS) activity. However, mRNA expression of FAT/CD36 and both mRNA and protein expression of plasma membrane fatty acid-binding protein did not change for either training group. CS activities in supracoracoideus, leg and heart, and carnitine palmitoyl transferase (CPT) and β-hydroxyacyl CoA-dehydrogenase activities in all muscles did not vary significantly with either training protocol. Both Msum and MMR were significantly positively correlated with CPT and CS activities. These data suggest that up-regulation of trans-sarcolemmal and intramyocyte lipid transport capacities and cellular metabolic intensities, along with previously documented increases in body and pectoralis muscle masses and pectoralis myostatin (a muscle growth inhibitor) levels, are common mechanisms underlying the training effects of both exercise and shivering in birds.

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Biology