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Always a price to pay: hibernation at low temperatures comes with a trade-off between energy savings and telomere damage

Nowack, J, Tarmann, I, Hoelzl, F, Smith, S, Giroud, S and Ruf, T (2019) Always a price to pay: hibernation at low temperatures comes with a trade-off between energy savings and telomere damage. Biology Letters, 15 (10). ISSN 1744-9561

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Abstract

We experimentally tested the costs of deep torpor at low temperatures by comparing telomere dynamics in two species of rodents hibernating at either 3 or 14°C. Our data show that hibernators kept at the warmer temperature had higher arousal frequencies, but maintained longer telomeres than individuals hibernating at the colder temperature. We suggest that the high-energy demand of frequent arousals is counteracted by a lower temperature differential between torpid and euthermic body temperature and that telomere length is restored during arousals when the body temperature is returned to normothermic values. Taken together, our study shows that hibernation at low body temperatures comes with costs on a cellular level and that hibernators need to actively counterbalance the shortening of telomeres.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Nowack Julia, Tarmann Iris, Hoelzl Franz, Smith Steve, Giroud Sylvain and Ruf Thomas Always a price to pay: hibernation at low temperatures comes with a trade-off between energy savings and telomere damage15Biol. Lett.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: The Royal Society
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 10:45
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 10:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0466
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11492

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