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Researchers identify hypothalamus neurons that control hibernation-like behaviors in mice


Senior Member
Two groups of researchers have independently discovered a a population of neurons in the hypothalamus that makes starving mice enter a hibernation-like state, or torpor, to save energy.

Torpor is associated with systemic physiological changes: significant drops in body temperature and suppression of metabolic activity. Torpor is common in nature, but the mechanisms that underlie torpor and hibernation are poorly understood.

It is not known if humans have the same population of neurons, and even if they did, it is not known if stimulating them would have the same effect.

Brain switch lets us control a kind of suspended animation in mice

Researchers identify neurons that control hibernation-like behaviors in mice

Study: A discrete neuronal circuit induces a hibernation-like state in rodents