DNP is an exceptionally potent metabolic stimulator and thermogenic agent. Given its recent application as a dietary aid and its historic use as a pesticide very little reputable information is currently available for this compound but its effects are extreme. The Soviet Union, however, recognized a quite valuable use for DNP. For soldiers under conditions of extreme cold, DNP administration could increase their body heat production.
The mechanism of action of DNP can best be described using the analogy of cars or trucks with manual transmissions, DNP essentially works like keeping the clutch slipping all the time. The engine (the mitochondria) may be putting out a lot of power, burning gas rapidly, and generating a lot of heat, but much of the power is not getting to the wheels. Instead, its going into heating the clutch. Obviously, one ordinarily slips the clutch for only short period of time but with DNP, the clutch (proton gradient) of the cellular machinery is made to slip all the time. The result: A lot of heat production, and a lot of fuel burned. And not that much energy actually making it into productive use.
More specifically speaking, DNP induces proton leakage from the mitochondria, causing them to have to burn more fuel to yield the same amount of ATP in the cell, or even perhaps less ATP than normal.