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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Duluth
Swenson College of Science and Engineering
Department of Biology

PI: Matthew T. Andrews

Role of Metabolic Hormone Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 in Induction of Torpor in a Hibernator

Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a metabolic hormone involved in the switch between the use of glucose and lipids and the main fuel source. It is necessary for hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrels to switch to lipids for their fuel source during the hibernation season when they do not eat. FGF21 also sensitizes mice to enter torpor, a critical component of hibernation. These researchers hypothesized that FGF21 is involved in the induction of torpor and metabolic fuel switch in hibernators. They tested this hypothesis by increasing levels of FGF21 circulating in thirteen-lined ground squirrels and monitoring entrance into torpor and metabolic parameters. They are using statistical software available from MSI to determine the statistical significance of these results.

Group Member

Bethany Nelson, Graduate Student