Sympathoadrenal system and regulation of thermogenesis

L. Landsberg, M. E. Saville, J. B. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

188 Scopus citations


The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) plays a critical role in the regulation of mammalian thermogenic responses to cold exposure and dietary intake. Catecholamine-stimulated thermogenesis is mediated by the β-adrenergic receptor. In the rat brown adipose tissue is the major site of metabolic heat production in response to both cold (nonshivering thermogenesis) and diet (diet-induced thermogenesis). Measurements of nonrepinephrine turnover rate in interscapular brown adipose tissue of the rat demonstrate increased sympathetic activity in response to both cold exposure and overfeeding. In adult humans, a physiologically significant role for brown adipose tissue has not been established but cannot be excluded. It appears likely that dietary changes in SNS activity are related, at least in part, to the changes in metabolic rate that occur in association with changes in dietary intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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