Does the Road Traveled Matter? Natural Versus Prematurely Induced Arousal from Torpor
Although hibernating animals spontaneously arouse from torpor at regular intervals, the practice of prematurely inducing arousal is common. Herein we review the many differences between natural and prematurely induced arousal to address the question of whether these two paths to euthermy are truly synonymous events. We present data demonstrating that the duration of the interbout arousal (IBA) is significantly reduced following a prematurely induced arousal and that the time required to respond to the induction stimulus is influenced by the duration of time spent in torpor. There are numerous alterations in intracellular and whole animal physiology when arousal is prematurely induced; thus we recommend that careful consideration be given to experiments utilizing this type of arousal mechanism.
KeywordsBrown Adipose Tissue Ground Squirrel Internal Ribosome Entry Site Torpor Bout Arctic Ground Squirrel
This work was supported by NSF grant IOB 0448396, awarded to Frank van Breukelen. Jenifer C. Utz was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. We thank other members of the laboratory for their diligent efforts.
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