Impaired starvation-induced loss of mitochondrial protein in the brown adipose tissue of dietary obese rats

P. Puigserver, M. Gianotti, A. Palou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The effects of fasting and refeeding on interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT) in normal rats and in those made obese by cafeteria feeding was investigated in order to evaluate the sequential feeding responses relating to the IBAT facultative thermogenesis. The thermogenic activity (GDP binding) and related parameters such as IBAT mass, tissue protein, mitochondrial protein and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity were compared in fed, fasted and refed situations in controls and in rats made obese by cafeteria feeding. The IBAT mass, tissue protein content, mitochondrial protein content, total COX activity and specific GDP binding were significantly increased by the cafeteria diet. The thermogenic response to fasting and refeeding was different between control and cafeteria obese rats. Thus, in control rats, the loss of mitochondrial protein as well as total COX activity are probably the main responses to fasting, whereas in cafeteria obese rats no changes in mitochondrial protein and total COX activity occur during fasting. Furthermore mitochondrial protein and total COX activity were not recovered during refeeding in control rats, and no changes occurred in cafeteria fed rats. However, the proton conductance pathway (measured by GDP binding) is inactivated in control and cafeteria fed rats on fasting. In conclusion, these results indicate different responses during fasting in the mitochondrial protein between control and dietary obese rats, suggesting a possible activated mitochondrial proteolysis in the control rats only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-261
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Brown fat
  • Cafeteria diet
  • GDP binding
  • Refeeding
  • Starvation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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