Serum plays an important role in reprogramming the seasonal transcriptional profile of brown bear adipocytes

iScience. 2022 Sep 21;25(10):105084. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.105084. eCollection 2022 Oct 21.


Understanding how metabolic reprogramming happens in cells will aid the progress in the treatment of a variety of metabolic disorders. Brown bears undergo seasonal shifts in insulin sensitivity, including reversible insulin resistance in hibernation. We performed RNA-sequencing on brown bear adipocytes and proteomics on serum to identify changes possibly responsible for reversible insulin resistance. We observed dramatic transcriptional changes, which depended on both the cell and serum season of origin. Despite large changes in adipocyte gene expression, only changes in eight circulating proteins were identified as related to the seasonal shifts in insulin sensitivity, including some that have not previously been associated with glucose homeostasis. The identified serum proteins may be sufficient for shifting hibernation adipocytes to an active-like state.

Keywords: Fur-bearing animal physiology; Proteomics; Transcriptomics.