Avoidance of Skeletal Muscle Atrophy in Spontaneous and Facultative Hibernators
Smooth and skeletal muscle changes were compared from overwintering white-tailed prairie dogs, spontaneous hibernators that undergo regular, low-temperature torpor bouts, and black-tailed prairie dogs, facultative hibernators that use sporadic, moderate-temperature torpor bouts. The objectives were to assess the abilities of these two species with dramatically different torpor patterns (1) to conserve skeletal muscle morphology, protein, and strength and (2) to use labile protein in the small intestine and liver during the winter season of reduced activity and food intake. Mass and protein ...
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