Genetic factors controlling mammalian hibernation
Research in my laboratory is directed toward the characterization of genes responsible for the induction and maintenance of hibernation in mammals. Hibernating mammals provide a unique system for identifying molecules that are important in regulating metabolism, body temperature and food intake. In a state of deep hibernation, body temperature is only a few degrees above 0°C, oxygen consumption holds at 1/30 to 1/50 of the aroused condition and heart rate can be as low as 3-10 beats/minute, compared to 300-400 beats/minute when the animal is awake and active. We are currently using RNAseq to identify genes that are responsible for the physiological characteristics of hibernation in the thirteen-lined ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus. A study examining the transcriptome of heart, skeletal muscle and white adipose tissue can be found at: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027021
Hibernation is seen in a wide-range of taxa including rodents, carnivores, insectivores, bats and even primates. Since the majority of species within these groups do not hibernate, it has been proposed that hibernation results from the differential expression of genes common to all mammals rather than the evolution of new genes unique to the hibernating species. Determining the function of gene products involved in hibernation is one of the main goals of the laboratory and has applications in the areas of hypothermia, ischemia/reperfusion injury, cardiac function and organ preservation. A transgenic approach examining mechanistic aspects of hibernation can be found at: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0053574
TV interview on hibernation
Development of blood-loss therapy
Nelson, B.T., Ding, X., Gerard, R.D., Kliewer, S.A. and Andrews, M.T. (2013) Metabolic hormone FGF21 is induced in ground squirrels during hibernation but its overexpression is not sufficient to cause torpor. PLoS One 8 (1), e53574.
- Alam, H.B., Pusateri, A.E., Kindzelski, A., Egan, D., Hoots, K., Andrews, M.T., Rhee, P., Tisherman, S., Mann, K., Vostal J., Kochanek, P.M., Scalea, T., and Sopko, G. (2012) Hypothermia and hemostasis in severe trauma: A new crossroads workshop report. J. Trauma Acute Care Surg 73, 809-817.
- Hampton, M., Melvin, R.G., Kendall, A.H., Kirkpatrick, B., Peterson, N. and Andrews, M.T. (2011) Deep sequencing the transcriptome reveals seasonal adaptive mechanisms in a hibernating mammal. PLoS One 6(10): e27021.
- Klein, A.H., Wendroth, S.M., Drewes, L.R., and Andrews, M.T. (2010) Small volume D-beta-hydroxybutyrate solution infusion increases survivability of lethal hemorrhagic shock in rats. Shock, 34, 565-572.
- Hampton, M., Nelson, B.T., and Andrews, M.T. (2010) Circulation and metabolic rates in a natural hibernator: an integrative physiological model. Am. J. Physiol. 299, R1478-1488.
- Melvin, R.G. and Andrews, M.T. (2009) Torpor induction in mammals: recent discoveries fueling new ideas. Trends Endocrinol. Metab. 20, 490-498.
- Andrews, M.T., Russeth, K.P., Drewes L.R., Henry, P.G. (2009) Adaptive mechanisms regulate preferred utilization of ketones in the heart and brain of a hibernating mammal during arousal from torpor. Am. J. Physiol. 296, R383-393.
BIOL 4231 Molecular Biology
Current Graduate Students
- Cecilia Edna Perez de Lara Rodriguez
Recent UROP students
Top of page