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Data from: Always a price to pay: hibernation at low temperatures comes with a trade-off between energy savings and telomere damage

Citation

Nowack, Julia et al. (2019), Data from: Always a price to pay: hibernation at low temperatures comes with a trade-off between energy savings and telomere damage, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.40br385

Abstract

We experimentally tested the costs of deep torpor at low temperatures by comparing telomere dynamics in two species of rodents hibernating at either 3°C or 14°C. Our data show that hibernators kept at the warmer temperature had higher arousal frequencies, but maintained longer telomeres than individuals hibernating at the colder temperature. We suggest that the high-energy demand of frequent arousals is counteracted by a lower temperature differential between torpid and euthermic body temperature and that telomere length is restored during arousals, when the body temperature is returned to normothermic values. Taken together, our study shows that hibernation at low body temperatures comes with costs on a cellular level and that hibernators need to actively counterbalance the shortening of telomeres.

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