ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA ›› 2014, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (2): 149-157.

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Seasonal changes in body mass and energy budget in striped hamsters

ZHAO Zhijun, CAO Jing, CHEN Kexin   

  1. College of Life and Environmental Science,Wenzhou University
  • Online:2014-05-13 Published:2014-08-18
  • Contact: ZHAO Zhijun:


赵志军 曹静 陈可新   

  1. 温州大学生命与环境科学学院
  • 通讯作者: 赵志军
  • 基金资助:
    国家自然基金资助项目(31070367 ,31270458 );中国科学院动物研究所农业虫害鼠害综合治理研究国家重点实验室开放课题(ChineseIPM1209)

Abstract: The present study was aimed at examining seasonal changes in body mass and energy metabolism in small mammals and the physiological mechanisms underpinning the changes. Seasonal changes in body mass,energy budget,masses of tissues and organs and serum leptin levels were determined in striped hamsters (Cricetulus barabensis)that were acclimated to natural temperature and photoperiod for 12 months Basal metabolic rate (BMR)and non-shivering thermogenesis (NST)were measured using a computerized open-flow respirometry system in summer,autumn,spring and winter,respectively. The hamsters showed significant seasonal changes in energy intake and expenditure. Digestive energy intakes were higher by 73.7% ,137.9% and 69.3% in autumn,winter and spring,respectively,than that in summer. BMR and NST increased by 86.2% and 163.6% in winter compared with those in summer. Body mass was constant over the year,but the masses of tissues and organs differed significantly between the four seasons. In detail,masses of liver,heart
and kidneys,as well as digestive tracts were heavier in winter than those in summer. Body fat content was significantly lower in winter than in summer, autumn and spring (P < 0.01);it reached a maximum in summer,and a minimum in winter. There were significant changes in serum leptin levels over the four seasons,which were higher by 88.2% and 52.4% in summer than that in autumn and winter,respectively (P < 0.05). It suggested that striped hamsters showed constant body mass over the year,which was inconsistent with the prediction of the ‘set-point’hypothesis. However,body fat content and serum leptin levels were significantly different between the four seasons,providing support for the hypothesis.The increased leptin levels may play a role in the inhibition of energy intake. Serum leptin may be also one of the important factors stimulating metabolic thermogenesis in the winter. Further,the role of leptin in the regulation of energy metabolism and body mass may be different in animals that were acclimated to different seasons.

Key words: Body mass, Energy budget, Leptin, Striped hamster (Cricetulus barabensis), Thermogenesis


为阐明小型哺乳动物体重和能量代谢的季节性变化以及生理调节机制,将黑线仓鼠驯化于自然环境下12个月,测定其体重、能量收支、身体组织器官和血清瘦素水平的季节性变化。黑线仓鼠能量摄入和支出的季节性变化显著,冬季摄入能、基础代谢率(BMR)、非颤抖性产热(NST)显著高于夏季。体重季节性变化不显著,但身体组织器官重量呈现显著的季节性变化,冬季肝脏、心脏、肾脏以及消化道重量显著高于夏季。体脂含量夏季最高,冬季最低,冬季显著低于夏、秋和春季(P <0.01)。血清瘦素水平的季节性变化显著,夏季瘦素水平比秋、冬季分别高88.2% 和52.4% (P <0.05)。结果表明,黑线仓鼠体重维持季节性稳定,与“调定点假说”的预测不同;但脂肪含量和血清瘦素季节性变化显著,符合该假说。夏季血清瘦素升高具有抑制能量摄入的作用,冬季血清瘦素可能是促进代谢产热的重要因子,瘦素对能量代谢和体重的调节作用与气候的季节性变化有关。

关键词: 体重, 能量收支, 产热, 瘦素, 黑线仓鼠