Mammals have evolved several physiological mechanisms to cope with changes in ambient temperature. Particularly critical among them is the process of keeping the membrane of cells in a fluid phase to prevent metabolic dysfunction. In this paper, we examine variation in the fatty acid composition of bone marrow and muscle tissues in the cold-adapted caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) to determine whether there are systematic differences in fatty acid profiles between anatomical regions that could potentially be explained by thermal adaptation as influenced by cell function, including hematopoiesis. Our results indicate that the bone marrow and muscle tissues from the appendicular skeleton are more unsaturated than the same tissues in the axial skeleton, a finding that is consistent with physiological adaptation of the appendicular regions to thermal challenges. Because mechanisms of thermal adaptation appear to be widely shared among terrestrial mammals, we suggest that the same patterns may prevail in other species, possibly including humans.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2022|
|MoEC publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
Field of science
- Ecology, evolutionary biology