Nitrogen recycling via gut symbionts increases in ground squirrels over the hibernation season
Abstract & Authors:展开
Hibernation is a mammalian strategy that uses metabolic plasticity to reduce energy demands and enable long-term fasting. Fasting mitigates winter food scarcity but eliminates dietary nitrogen, jeopardizing body protein balance. Here, we reveal gut microbiome–mediated urea nitrogen recycling in hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus). Ureolytic gut microbes incorporate urea nitrogen into metabolites that are absorbed by the host, with the nitrogen reincorporated into the squirrel’s protein pool. Urea nitrogen recycling is greatest after prolonged fasting in late winter, when urea transporter abundance in gut tissue and urease gene abundance in the microbiome are highest. These results reveal a functional role for the gut microbiome during hibernation and suggest mechanisms by which urea nitrogen recycling may contribute to protein balance in other monogastric animals.
Matthew D Regan
Hannah Carey,Fariba M Assadi-Porter
Matthew D Regan,Edna Chiang,Yunxi Liu,Marco Tonelli,Kristen M Verdoorn,Sadie R Gugel,Garret Suen,Hannah Carey,Fariba M Assadi-Porter
Staying strong during hibernation
Busy symbionts during hibernation