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Am J Physiol. 1995 Jun;268(6 Pt 2):R1507-12.

alpha 2-Macroglobulin gene expression during hibernation in ground squirrels is independent of acute phase response.

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Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262, USA.


alpha 2-Macroglobulin, a major acute phase reactant in many species, increases in the Richardson's ground squirrel (Spermophilus richarsonii) during hibernation at the level of both mRNA and protein. To determine if the pattern of liver gene expression known as the acute phase response is elicited as a normal part of the physiological adaptation of hibernation, acute phase reactants were identified in the Richardson's ground squirrel and were then assayed for changes in mRNA expression in the livers of active and hibernating ground squirrels. Our data demonstrate that alpha 1-antitrypsin, alpha 2-macroglobulin, ceruloplasmin, C-reactive protein, and serum amyloid A are acute phase reactants in the Richardson's ground squirrel. Of these, only alpha 2-macroglobulin (alpha 2M) mRNA increases during hibernation, demonstrating that the entire acute phase response is not elicited as a part of the adaptation for hibernation. Alternatively, data from blood clotting assays of serum from active and hibernating animals support a role for the increase in alpha 2M protein during hibernation in decreasing the coagulative properties of the blood.

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