Tail position affects the body temperature of rats during cold exposure in a low-energy state

Yuki Uchida, Ken Tokizawa, Mayumi Nakamura, Cheng Hsien Lin, Kei Nagashima

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Rats place their tails underneath their body trunks when cold (tail-hiding behavior). The aim of the present study was to determine whether this behavior is necessary to maintain body temperature. Male Wistar rats were divided into 'fed' and '42-h fasting' groups. A one-piece tail holder (8. 4 cm in length) that prevented the tail-hiding behavior or a three-piece tail holder (2. 8 cm in length) that allowed for the tail-hiding behavior was attached to the tails of the rats. The rats were exposed to 27°C for 180 min or to 20°C for 90 min followed by 15°C for 90 min with continuous body temperature and oxygen consumption measurements. Body temperature decreased by -1. 0 ± 0. 1°C at 15°C only in the rats that prevented tail-hiding behavior of the 42-h fasting group, and oxygen consumption increased at 15°C in all animals. Oxygen consumption was not different between the rats that prevented tail-hiding behavior and the rats that allowed the behavior in the fed and 42-h fasting groups under ambient conditions. These results show that the tail-hiding behavior is involved in thermoregulation in the cold in fasting rats.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-95
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
    Volume198
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb

    Fingerprint

    body temperature
    Body Temperature
    Tail
    tail
    fasting
    rats
    energy
    oxygen consumption
    Fasting
    Oxygen Consumption
    thermoregulation
    exposure
    cold
    Body Temperature Regulation
    Wistar Rats
    animal

    Keywords

    • Behavioral thermoregulation
    • Body temperature
    • Cold
    • Fasting
    • Tail

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Physiology
    • Behavioral Neuroscience

    Cite this

    Tail position affects the body temperature of rats during cold exposure in a low-energy state. / Uchida, Yuki; Tokizawa, Ken; Nakamura, Mayumi; Lin, Cheng Hsien; Nagashima, Kei.

    In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, Vol. 198, No. 2, 02.2012, p. 89-95.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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