A natural tolerance of various environmental stresses is typically supported by various cytoprotective mechanisms that protect macromolecules and promote extended viability. Among these are antioxidant defenses that help to limit damage from reactive oxygen species and chaperones that help to minimize protein misfolding or unfolding under stress conditions. To understand the molecular mechanisms that act to protect cells during primate torpor, the present study characterizes antioxidant and heat shock protein (HSP) responses in various organs of control (aroused) and torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. Protein expression of HSP70 and HSP90α was elevated to 1.26 and 1.49 fold, respectively, in brown adipose tissue during torpor as compared with control animals, whereas HSP60 in liver of torpid animals was 1.15 fold of that in control (P< 0.05). Among antioxidant enzymes, protein levels of thioredoxin 1 were elevated to 2.19 fold in white adipose tissue during torpor, whereas Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase 1 levels rose to 1.1 fold in skeletal muscle (P< 0.05). Additionally, total antioxidant capacity was increased to 1.6 fold in liver during torpor (P< 0.05), while remaining unchanged in the five other tissues. Overall, our data suggest that antioxidant and HSP responses are modified in a tissue-specific manner during daily torpor in gray mouse lemurs. Furthermore, our data also show that cytoprotective strategies employed during primate torpor are distinct from the strategies in rodent hibernation as reported in previous studies.

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Keywords Antioxidant capacity, Heat shock proteins, Primate hypometabolism, Stress response
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gpb.2015.03.004
Journal Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics
Wu, C.-W. (Cheng-Wei), Biggar, K.K, Zhang, J. (Jing), Tessier, S.N. (Shannon N.), Pifferi, F. (Fabien), Perret, M. (Martine), & Storey, K. (2015). Induction of Antioxidant and Heat Shock Protein Responses During Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus. Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics, 13(2), 19–126. doi:10.1016/j.gpb.2015.03.004