Juvenile Siberian hamsters display torpor and modified locomotor activity and body temperature rhythms in response to reduced food availability

Physiol Biochem Zool. Nov-Dec 2003;76(6):858-67. doi: 10.1086/381462.


Siberian hamsters as young as 16 and 28 d displayed torpor in response to treatment with 2,500 mg/kg 2-deoxy-D-glucose and reduced food availability, respectively. In addition, most food-restricted hamsters displayed increased locomotor activity and elevated body temperatures in the 3 h immediately preceding daily food delivery. This anticipatory activity disappeared within a few days of reimposition of ad lib. feeding. Torpor first appeared spontaneously at approximately 13 wk of age in hamsters fed ad lib. and maintained in short day lengths. The onset of this "spontaneous" torpor was unaffected by the hamsters' history of food restriction before age 2 mo. Siberian hamsters born late in the breeding season can conserve energy by undergoing torpor immediately after weaning when they contend with food shortages and concurrent energetic challenges imposed by growth requirements and low ambient temperatures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Cricetinae
  • Deoxyglucose / physiology
  • Food Deprivation / physiology*
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Phodopus / physiology*
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Telemetry
  • Time Factors


  • Deoxyglucose