Exploring the Mysteries of Mammalian Hibernation: Old Questions, New Approaches
Sep. 2, 2020 15:00 - 16:00
Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University
Mammalian hibernation is an adaptive strategy to survive during the cold period with little food by dramatic suppression of thermogenesis. In small-bodied mammals, the hibernation period involves multiday hypothermic deep torpor and normothermic periodic arousal. Deep torpor is characterized by the profound suppression of metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, and locomotive activity. The drasticalterations in physiology associated with hibernation can lead to multiple organ dysfunction and death in non-hibernators such as mice and humans, whereas hibernators tolerate these physiological extremes. Successful hibernation requires cold adaptation at the systemic and cellular levels. However, little is known about molecular mechanisms of hibernation. Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) is a good experimental animal model to study hibernation in the laboratory. When transferred from summer-like conditions to winter-like conditions, the animals begin to hibernate after several months of the pre-hibernation period. During this period, they undergo systemic body remodeling for hibernation. In this seminar, I will give a brief introduction about hibernation and introduce our recent studies to address mechanisms of hibernation in Syrian hamsters.