During hibernation, animals undergo metabolic changes that result in reduced utilization of glucose and oxygen. Fat is known to be the preferential source of energy for hibernating animals. Malonyldialdehyde (MDA) is an end product of fatty acid oxidation, and is generally used as an index of lipid peroxidation. We report here that peroxidation of lipids is increased in the plasma and in the membranes of red blood cells in black bears during hibernation. The plasma MDA content was about four fold higher during hibernation as compared to that during the active, non-hibernating state (P < 0.0001). Similarly, MDA content of erythrocyte membranes was significantly increased during hibernation (P < 0.025). The activity of Ca2+/Mg2+-ATPase in the erythrocyte membrane was significantly decreased in the hibernating state as compared to the active state. Na+/K+-ATPase activity was also decreased, though not significant, during hibernation. These results suggest that during hibernation, the bears are under increased oxidative stress, and have reduced activities of membrane-bound enzymes such as Ca2+/Mg2+-ATPase and Na+/K+-ATPase. These changes can be considered part of the adaptive for survival process of metabolic depression. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Increased oxidative stress and decreased activities of Ca2+/Mg2+-ATPase and Na+/K+-ATPase in the red blood cells of the hibernating black bear