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Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2005 Jul;28(4):297-309. Epub 2005 Sep 22.

Ground squirrel splenic macrophages bind lipopolysaccharide over a wide range of temperatures at all phases of their annual hibernation cycle.

Author information

  • Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, CB334, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. gmaniero@stonehill.edu


This study evaluates binding of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by splenic macrophages from golden-mantled ground squirrels (Spermophilus lateralis, GMGS), a hibernating mammal, at a variety of in vitro incubation temperatures to determine whether this aspect of immune function is effective at low body temperatures. LPS-binding by ground squirrel macrophages was compared to that of rat splenic macrophages. Macrophages were collected from squirrels at discreet stages in their annual cycle and incubated with fluorescein-labeled LPS (LPS-FITC). The percentage of GMGS that bound LPS-FITC did not change as a function of hibernation season or as a function of incubation temperature. The total amount of LPS-FITC bound per cell was similarly unaffected by season or temperature, however, macrophages from torpid squirrels bound more LPS-FITC than cells from normothermic squirrels. Macrophages of golden-mantled ground squirrels bind LPS at a wide range of temperatures throughout their annual cycle; an ability shared between hibernators and non-hibernators alike.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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