Total, as well as free, T4 and T3 levels were obtained over four seasons for young male infantry soldiers assigned to interior Alaska. Significant seasonal variations were found in both T3 and T4. Total T4 and T3 levels were highest in winter, while free T4 and T3 levels were highest in early spring. Correlations with melatonin levels from a concurrent study showed an association between late day (17.00) mean spot melatonin levels during the preceding summer and T3 levels in winter and spring. Differences in seasonal T4 and T3 levels between indigenous and newly arrived people in the sub-Arctic may be related not only to cold acclimation but also to light.
The effect of solar radiation on flavonoid biosynthesis was studied in bilberry ( Vaccinium myrtillus L.) leaves. Expression of flavonoid pathway genes of bilberry was studied in the upper leaves of bilberry, exposed to direct sunlight, in the shaded leaves growing lower in the same plants and in fruits. Bilberry-specific digoxigenin-dUTP-labeled cDNA fragments of five genes from the general phenylpropanoid pathway coding phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and from the flavonoid pathway coding chalcone synthase, flavanone 3-hydroxylase, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase, and anthocyanidin synthase were used as probes in gene expression analysis. Anthocyanins, catechins, proanthocyanidins, flavonols and hydroxycinnamic acids from the leaves and fruits were identified and quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography combined with a diode array detector. An increase in the expression of the studied flavonoid pathway genes was observed in leaves growing under direct sun exposure. Also, the concentrations of anthocyanins, catechins, flavonols and hydroxycinnamic acids were higher in the leaves exposed to direct sunlight. However, the concentration of polymeric procyanidins was lower in sun-exposed leaves, whereas that of prodelphinidins was slightly increased. The results give further support for the protective role of flavonoids and hydroxy cinnamic acids against high solar radiation in plants. Also, the roles of different flavonoid compounds as a defense against stress caused by sun exposure is discussed.
Our aim was to establish whether the human basal metabolic rate (BMR) shifts towards the reduction of vital functions as an adaptation response to extreme environmental conditions. Data was collected in arid and Extreme North zones. The arid zone samples included Bedouins living in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, Turkmen students, the Pedagogical University of Chardzhou, Turkmenistan born Russians and Russian soldiers. Soldiers were divided into 3 groups according to the length of their tour of duty in the area: 1st group: up to six months, 2nd group: up to 2 years and the 3rd group: 3-5 years. The Extreme North samples comprised Chukchi natives, 1st generation Russian immigrants born in the area and 3 groups of soldiers comparable to the soldiers from Turkmenistan. BMR values of the new recruits had the highest values of total and relative BMR (1769 ± 16 and 28.3 ± 0.6, correspondingly). The total and relative BMR tended to decrease within a longer adaptation period. The BMR values of officers who served >3 years in Turkmenistan were very similar to the Turkmenistan born Russians (1730 ± 14 vs. 1726 ± 18 and 26.5 ± 0.6 vs. 27.3 ± 0.7, correspondingly). Similarly, in Chukotka, the highest relative BMR was found in the new recruits, serving up to 6 months (28.1 ± 0.7) and was significantly (p 3 years, compared to the middle-aged Chukchi or Chukotka-born Russians (25.8 ± 0.5 vs. 25.6 ± 0.5 and 25.5 ± 0.6, correspondingly). The BMR parameters demonstrated a stronger association with body weight than with age. In extreme environmental conditions, migrant populations showed a decrease in BMR, thus reducing its vital functions. The BMR reduction effect with the adequate adaptive transformation is likely to be the key strategy for developing programs to facilitate human and animal adaptation to extreme factors. This process is aimed at preserving the optimum energy balance and homeostasis while minimizing stress on the body's vital functions.
During the 1950s, with the Cold War looming, military planners sought to know more about how to keep fighting forces fit and capable in the harsh Alaskan environment. In 1956 and 1957, the U.S. Air Force's former Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory conducted a study of the role of the thyroid in human acclimatization to cold. To measure thyroid function under various conditions, the researchers administered a radioactive medical trace, Iodine-131, to Alaska Natives and white military personnel; based on the study results, the researchers determined that the thyroid did not play a significant role in human acclimatization to cold. When this study of thyroid function was revisited at a 1993 conference on the Cold War legacy in the Arctic, serious questions were raised about the appropriateness of the activity--whether it posed risks to the people involved and whether the research had been conducted within the bounds of accepted guidelines for research using human participants. In particular, there was concern over the relatively large proportion of Alaska Natives used as subjects and whether they understood the nature of the study. This book evaluates the research in detail, looking at both the possible health effects of Iodine-131 administration in humans and the ethics of human subjects research. This book presents conclusions and recommendations and is a significant addition to the nation's current reevaluation of human radiation experiments conducted during the Cold War.
RC 655.5.A73 1996
Free online version at the National Academies Press at NAP.edu
Polar terrestrial invertebrates are suggested as being vulnerable to temperature change relative to lower latitude species, and hence possibly also to climate warming. Previous studies have shown Antarctic and Arctic Collembola and Acari to possess good heat tolerance and survive temperature exposures above 30 °C. To test this feature further, the heat tolerance and physiological plasticity of heat stress were explored in the Arctic collembolan, Megaphorura arctica, from Svalbard and the Antarctic midge, Eretmoptera murphyi, from Signy Island. The data obtained demonstrate considerable heat tolerance in both species, with upper lethal temperatures =35 °C (1 h exposures), and tolerance of exposure to 10 and 15 °C exceeding 56 days. This tolerance is far beyond that required in their current environment. Average microhabitat temperatures in August 2011 ranged between 5.1 and 8.1 °C, and rarely rose above 10 °C, in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Summer soil microhabitat temperatures on Signy Island have previously been shown to range between 0 and 10 °C. There was also evidence to suggest that E. murphyi can recover from high-temperature exposure and that M. arctica is capable of rapid heat hardening. M. arctica and E. murphyi therefore have the physiological capacity to tolerate current environmental conditions, as well as future warming. If the features they express are characteristically more general, such polar terrestrial invertebrates will likely fare well under climate warming scenarios.
Under the conditions of hot and mountain-continental climate, the morbidity rates in the inhabitants were estimated to be significantly lower than those in young men who had not been acclimatized or adapted to living conditions and in non-acclimatized men. A role of individual physical environmental factors (temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, average and maximum air speed) and integral exposure by the wind chill index (a combined impact of an air speed and ambient temperature) as risk factors to human health was defined, The mountain-continental climate showed a relationship of the influence of these factors to habitation at different altitudes above sea level.
Human indigenous circumpolar populations have elevated basal metabolic rates (BMRs) relative to predicted values; this metabolic elevation has been postulated to be a physiological adaptation to chronic and severe cold stress. The present study examines BMR in the Yakut, an indigenous high-latitude population from the Sakha Republic of Russia to determine (1) whether the Yakut show evidence of an elevated BMR, (2) if the Yakut display evidence of age-related changes in BMR, and (3) whether lifestyle differences influence BMR. BMR was measured during the late summer in 75 women and 50 men (ages 18-56 years) from the Siberian village of Berdygestiakh. Measured BMR (+/- SEM) of the entire sample was significantly elevated (+6.5%) compared to predictions based on body mass (6,623.7 +/- 94.9 vs. 6,218.2 +/- 84.7 kJ/day; P
Effect of cold exposure on aggressive behavior, on the concentrations of testosterone and glucocorticoids, as well as on the oxygen consumption at different ambient temperatures, and calorigenic effect of noradrenaline have been studied in BALB/cLac and C57Bl/6J males. Under normal temperature conditions, there have been no significant interstrain differences. After cold exposure (5 weeks at 6-8 degrees C), C57Bl/6J mice exhibited more pronounced adaptive changes in thermoregulation and endocrine status (increase of glucocorticoids and decrease of testosterone concentrations were less expressed in C57Bl/6J than in BALB/cLac). At the same time, males of this strain demonstrated more intensive aggression than BALB/cLac mice. Some relations between physiological and behavioral changes caused by cold exposure are discussed.
Response to cold exposure tests both locally and of the whole body were examined in subjects who stayed in the arctic (average maximum and minimum temperatures -11 and -21 degrees C respectively) for 14 days of skiing and sleeping in tents. These changes were compared to responses in subjects living working in Ottawa, Canada (average max. and min. temperatures -5 and -11 degrees C respectively). The tests were done before the stay in the Arctic (Pre), immediately after the return (Post 1) and approximately 32 days after the return (Post 2). For the whole-body cold exposure each subject, wearing only shorts and lying on a rope mesh cot, was exposed to an ambient temperature of 10 degrees C. There was no consistent response in the changes of metabolic or body temperature to this exposure in either of groups and, in addition, the changes over time were variable. Cold induced vasodilatation (CIVD) was determined by measuring temperature changes in the middle finger of the nondominant hand upon immersion in ice water for 30 min. CIVD was depressed after the Arctic exposure whilst during the Post 2 testing, although variable, did not return to the Pre values; the responses of the control group were similar. These results indicate that normal seasonal changes may be as important in adaptation as a stay in the Arctic. Caution is advised in the separation of seasonal effects when examining the changes in adaptation after exposure to a cold environment.