Hypometabolic induced state: a potential tool in biomedicine and space exploration

  • Manuela Malatesta
  • Marco Biggiogera
  • Carlo Zancanaro
Review Paper


This paper will first review the issue of hypometabolism in mammals with a focus on the strategies these animals evolved to cope with life challenge in hostile environments (e.g., cold weather and/or shortage of food). The different types of natural hypometabolism (hibernation, torpor, winter sleep) will be briefly described as well as major adaptations in body temperature, and energy and cell metabolism. In the second part of this review the issue of inducing a hypometabolic state in mammals will be afforded with special attention paid to changes in body temperature and metabolism, regulation of gene expression and the possible role of hibernation inducing factors. Finally, an overview of the potential of inducing a hypometabolic state in the human as related to the broad field of biomedicine will be given.


Body temperature Extreme environments Hibernation Human Mammals Metabolism Transplantation Surgery 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Malatesta
    • 1
  • Marco Biggiogera
    • 2
  • Carlo Zancanaro
    • 3
  1. 1.Istituto di Istologia e Analisi di LaboratorioUniversità di UrbinoUrbinoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Biologia AnimaleUniversità di PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.Anatomy & Histology Section, Dipartimento di Scienze Morfologico-BiomedicheUniversità di VeronaVeronaItaly

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