Document Detail

Role of huddling on the energetic of growth in a newborn altricial mammal.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17459914     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Huddling is considered as a social strategy to reduce thermal stress and promote growth in newborn altricial mammals. So far, the role of huddling on the allocation of saved energy has not been quantified nor have the related impacts on body temperature rhythms. To determine the energy partitioning of rabbit pups either raised alone or in groups of eight, four, or two individuals, when thermoregulatory inefficient (TI) and efficient (TE), we first investigated their total energy expenditure and body composition. We then monitored body temperature and activity rhythms to test whether huddling may impact these rhythms, centered on the suckling event. Pups in a group of eight utilized 40% less energy for thermogenesis when TI than did pups alone and 32% less energy when TE. Pups in groups of eight and four had significantly lower thermoregulatory costs in the TI period, whereas pups in groups of two, four, and eight had lower costs during the TE period. Huddling pups could therefore channel the energy saved into processes of growth and accrued more fat mass (on average 4.5 +/- 1.4 g) than isolated pups, which lost 0.7 g of fat. Pups in groups of four and eight had a body temperature significantly higher by 0.8 degrees C than pups in groups of two and one when TI, whereas no more differences were noted when the TE period was reached. Moreover, pups alone showed an endogenous circadian body temperature rhythm that differed when compared with that of huddling pups, with no rise before suckling. Thus huddling enables pups to invest the saved energy into growth and to regulate their body temperature to be more competitive during nursing, particularly at the early time when they are TI.
Caroline Gilbert; Stéphane Blanc; Sylvain Giroud; Marie Trabalon; Yvon Le Maho; Martine Perret; André Ancel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2007-04-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology     Volume:  293     ISSN:  0363-6119     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2007 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-01     Completed Date:  2007-10-10     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100901230     Medline TA:  Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  R867-76     Citation Subset:  IM    
1Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien (IPHC)-Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie (DEPE), UMR 7178, Université Louis Pasteur (ULP), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Strasbourg, France.
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MeSH Terms
Animals, Newborn / growth & development,  physiology*
Animals, Suckling
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Body Composition / physiology
Body Temperature / physiology*
Corticosterone / blood
Eating / physiology
Energy Metabolism / physiology
Motor Activity / physiology
Social Behavior*
Thyroxine / blood
Triiodothyronine / blood
Reg. No./Substance:
50-22-6/Corticosterone; 6893-02-3/Triiodothyronine; 7488-70-2/Thyroxine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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