Amanda D MacCannell1, Kevin J Sinclair2, Lanette J Friesen-Waldner2, Charles A McKenzie2, and James F Staples1
1Biology, Western University, London, ON, Canada, 2Medical Biophysics, Western University, London, ON, Canada
During winter, brown adipose tissue (BAT) is the primary source of heat
production in hibernating animals. White adipose tissue volumes increase and BAT-specific genes are upregulated in autumn even when temperatures are warm, but the
rhythm of changes in BAT volume is unknown. Water-fat MRI was used to measure total BAT volume in
hibernating squirrels two months after arousing from hibernation in spring and again at 18
days following the first MRI scan.
BAT volumes increased significantly in this 20 day time period.