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Abstract #3930

Water-Fat MRI Detects Increased Brown Adipose Tissue Volume In Anticipation of Hibernation in Ground Squirrels

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.

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