The influence of sex and diet on the characteristics of hibernation in Syrian hamsters

Marie Trefna, Maaike Goris, Cynthia M C Thissen, Vera A Reitsema, Jojanneke J Bruintjes, Edwin L de Vrij, Hjalmar R Bouma, Ate S Boerema, Robert H Henning

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8 Citaten (Scopus)
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Research on deep hibernators almost exclusively uses species captured from the wild or from local breeding. An exception is Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), the only standard laboratory animal showing deep hibernation. In deep hibernators, several factors influence hibernation quality, including body mass, sex and diet. We examined hibernation quality in commercially obtained Syrian hamsters in relation to body mass, sex and a diet enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Animals (M/F:30/30, 12 weeks of age) were obtained from Harlan (IN, USA) and individually housed at 21 A degrees C and L:D 14:10 until 20 weeks of age, followed by L:D 8:16 until 27 weeks. Then conditions were changed to 5 A degrees C and L:D 0:24 for 9 weeks to induce hibernation. Movement was continuously monitored with passive infrared detectors. Hamsters were randomized to control diet or a diet 3x enriched in linoleic acid from 16 weeks of age. Hamsters showed a high rate of premature death (n = 24, 40%), both in animals that did and did not initiate torpor, which was unrelated to body weight, sex and diet. Time to death (31.7 +/- 3.1 days, n = 12) or time to first torpor bout (36.6 +/- 1.6 days, n = 12) was similar in prematurely deceased hamsters. Timing of induction of hibernation and duration of torpor and arousal was unaffected by body weight, sex or diet. Thus, commercially obtained Syrian hamsters subjected to winter conditions showed poor survival, irrespective of body weight, sex and diet. These factors also did not affect hibernation parameters. Possibly, long-term commercial breeding from a confined genetic background has selected against the hibernation trait.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)725-734
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftJournal of Comparative Physiology B, Biochemical, Systemic and Environmental Physiology
Nummer van het tijdschrift5-6
Vroegere onlinedatum21-mrt.-2017
StatusPublished - jul.-2017
Evenement15th International Hibernation Symposium - Las Vegas, United States
Duur: 31-jul.-20164-aug.-2016

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