Fat-cell mass, serum leptin and adiponectin changes during weight gain and loss in yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris)

Gregory L. Florant, Heather Porst, Aubrey Peiffer, Susan F. Hudachek, Chris Pittman, Scott A. Summers, Michael W. Rajala, Philipp E. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Leptin and adiponectin are proteins produced and secreted from white adipose tissue and are important regulators of energy balance and insulin sensitivity. Seasonal changes in leptin and adiponectin have not been investigated in mammalian hibernators in relationship to changes in fat cell and fat mass. We sought to determine the relationship between serum leptin and adiponectin levels with seasonal changes in lipid mass. We collected serum and tissue samples from marmots (Marmota flaviventris) in different seasons while measuring changes in fat mass, including fat-cell size. We found that leptin is positively associated with increasing fat mass and fat-cell size, while adiponectin is negatively associated with increasing lipid mass. These findings are consistent with the putative roles of these adipokines: leptin increases with fat mass and is involved in enhancing lipid oxidation while adiponectin appears to be higher in summer when hepatic insulin sensitivity should be maintained since the animals are eating. Our data suggest that during autumn/winter animals have switched from a lipogenic condition to a lipolytic state, which may include leptin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Adiponectin
  • Fasting
  • Fat
  • Hibernation
  • Leptin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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