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Abstract #3446

Water-fat MRI demonstrates seasonal proliferation of brown adipose tissue near the eyes of juvenile hibernators: An additive effect of cold exposure

Amanda DV MacCannell1, Kevin Sinclair 2, Lannete Friesen-Waldner2, Charles A McKenzie2, and James Staples1

1Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada, 2Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Hibernating mammals use brown adipose tissue (BAT) as a primary source of heat production. Volumes of both white adipose tissue (WAT) and BAT increase in the autumn even when temperatures are warm. Between Aug 19th and Oct 13th we used water-fat MRI to measure the dynamics of BAT and white adipose tissue as ground squirrels prepared for hibernation under either cold or thermoneutral temperatures. We found that the volume of a tissue that resembles BAT around the eye, increased significantly in cold exposed animals to warm exposed in October, as the animals are preparing for winter.

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