University of Oulu

Niiranen, L.; Mäkelä, K.A.; Dona, A.; Krumsiek, J.; Karhu, T.; Mäkinen, M.J.; Thalmann, O.; Saarela, S.; Herzig, K.-H. Seasonal Regulation of Metabolism: The Effect of Wintertime Fasting and Autumnal Fattening on Key Central Regulators of Metabolism and the Metabolic Profile of the Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes Procyonoides). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 4965.

Seasonal regulation of metabolism : the effect of wintertime fasting and autumnal fattening on key central regulators of metabolism and the metabolic profile of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes Procyonoides)

Saved in:
Author: Niiranen, Laura1; Mäkelä, Kari A.1; Dona, Anthony2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia
3Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY 10065, USA
4Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Department of Pathology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland
5Medical Research Center Oulu, P.O Box 8000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland
6Department of Pathology, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 5000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland
7Institute of Pediatrics, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, 60-572 Poznań, Poland
8Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-06-09


Investigations into the mechanisms regulating obesity are frantic and novel translational approaches are needed. The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is a canid species representing a promising model to study metabolic regulation in a species undergoing cycles of seasonal obesity and fasting. To understand the molecular mechanisms of metabolic regulation in seasonal adaptation, we analyzed key central nervous system and peripheral signals regulating food intake and metabolism from raccoon dogs after autumnal fattening and winter fasting. Expressions of neuropeptide Y (NPY), orexin-2 receptor (OX2R), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and leptin receptor (ObRb) were analyzed as examples of orexigenic and anorexigenic signals using qRT-PCR from raccoon dog hypothalamus samples. Plasma metabolic profiles were measured with ¹H NMR-spectroscopy and LC-MS. Circulating hormones and cytokines were determined with canine specific antibody assays. Surprisingly, NPY and POMC were not affected by the winter fasting nor autumn fattening and the metabolic profiles showed a remarkable equilibrium, indicating conserved homeostasis. However, OX2R and ObRb expression changes suggested seasonal regulation. Circulating cytokine levels were not increased, demonstrating that the autumn fattening did not induce subacute inflammation. Thus, the raccoon dog developed seasonal regulatory mechanisms to accommodate the autumnal fattening and prolonged fasting making the species unique in coping with the extreme environmental challenges.

see all

Series: International journal of molecular sciences
ISSN: 1661-6596
ISSN-E: 1422-0067
ISSN-L: 1661-6596
Volume: 22
Issue: 9
Article number: 4965
DOI: 10.3390/ijms22094965
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
Funding: This study was financially supported by the Academy of Finland (grant #134048 to S.S.), Oulu Scholarship Foundation and Juho Vainio Foundation. OT received financial support from the National Science Center, Poland (2017/26/E/NZ5/00851).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 134048
Detailed Information: 134048 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (