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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2000 December;46(4):217-24

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

The digestive apparatus during hibernation: morphological and functional changes

Angriman M., Franceschi R., Zancanaro C.


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During hibernation feeding is suspended and the digestive apparatus is in a condition of functional rest. This paper is a review of data published in the period from 1966 to 1999 on the structure/function relationship in the digestive apparatus of hibernating animals. The available information is partial, due to differences in methodology and species used; however, it is apparent from the data that the digestive apparatus undergoes an important rearrangement during hibernation, inclusive of mass loss and reduced/arrested mitotic activity, in the presence of a generally preserved morphology of the organs. All changes are reversible upon arousal. Recent findings show that, during hibernation, protein expression may be enhanced in the intestine as well as transport activities in the mucosa. Therefore, the hibernation condition is finely regulated, representing a potentially useful model for studies aimed at improving organ preservation procedures (e.g. for transplantation).

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