Hibernation: the immune system at rest?

Hjalmar R. Bouma*, Hannah V. Carey, Frans G. M. Kroese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mammalian hibernation consists of torpor phases when metabolism is severely depressed, and T can reach as low as approximately -2 degrees C, interrupted by euthermic arousal phases. Hibernation affects the function of the innate and the adaptive immune systems. Torpor drastically reduces numbers of all types of circulating leukocytes. In addition, other changes have been noted, such as lower complement levels, diminished response to LPS, phagocytotic capacity, cytokine production, lymphocyte proliferation, and antibody production. Hibernation may therefore increase infection risk, as illustrated by the currently emerging WNS in hibernating bats. Unraveling the pathways that result in reduced immune function during hibernation will enhance our understanding of immunologic responses during extreme physiological changes in mammals. J. Leukoc. Biol. 88: 619-624; 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-624
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Volume88
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2010

Keywords

  • torpor
  • immunosuppression
  • white nose syndrome
  • metabolism
  • hypothermia
  • ISCHEMIA-REPERFUSION INJURY
  • IN-GROUND SQUIRRELS
  • WHITE-NOSE SYNDROME
  • MAMMALIAN HIBERNATION
  • CEREBRAL-ISCHEMIA
  • CRICETUS-CRICETUS
  • SEASONAL-CHANGES
  • ANNUAL CYCLE
  • BONE-MARROW
  • CELLS

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