Isolation and Characterization of a Hibernation Inducing 'Trigger(s)' from the Plasma of Hibernating Ground Squirrels (Citellus tridecemlineatus) and Woodchucks (Marmota monax).
Progress rept. 1 Mar-1 Jul 79,
KENTUCKY UNIV LEXINGTON DEPT OF PATHOLOGY
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A hibernation induction trigger HIT is present in the plasma of hibernating woodchucks and ground squirrels which can induce hibernation when injected in summer-active ground squirrels. Recent biochemical characterization of this HIT molecule in our laboratory utilizing three distinct resolving techniques, isoelectric focusing, a preparative isotachophoresis, and affinity chromatography clearly indicates that this molecule is bound to or closely associated with albumin in the plasma of hibernating animals. Moreover, our recent efforts to develop an assay for HIT activity of resolved plasma fractions utilizing primates as test animals has given the first indication that this molecule may initiate transient yet profound physiological alterations in these animals. When small amounts of the HIT-active plasma fractions are infused into the brain ventricle fluid of monkeys we have noted some truly remarkable physiological responses such as depressed metabolism, hypothermia, decreased heart rate and the appearance in some animals of an anesthetized state. Our goals are two-fold, we intend to isolate a completely homogeneous HIT molecule which is dissociated from albumin utilizing the techniques of preparative gel electrophoresis and column chromatography.