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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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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 Fact 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 used statistical software available from MSI to determine the statistical significance of these results.

Group Member

Bethany Nelson, Graduate Student