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

Tohru M. Takahashi, Genshiro A. Sunagawa, Shingo Soya, Manabu Abe, Katsuyasu Sakurai, Kiyomi Ishikawa, Masashi Yanagisawa, Hiroshi Hama, Emi Hasegawa, Atsushi Miyawaki, Kenji Sakimura, Masayo Takahashi, Takeshi Sakurai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Hibernating mammals actively lower their body temperature to reduce energy expenditure when facing food scarcity1. This ability to induce a hypometabolic state has evoked great interest owing to its potential medical benefits2,3. Here we show that a hypothalamic neuronal circuit in rodents induces a long-lasting hypothermic and hypometabolic state similar to hibernation. In this state, although body temperature and levels of oxygen consumption are kept very low, the ability to regulate metabolism still remains functional, as in hibernation4. There was no obvious damage to tissues and organs or abnormalities in behaviour after recovery from this state. Our findings could enable the development of a method to induce a hibernation-like state, which would have potential applications in non-hibernating mammalian species including humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-114
Number of pages6
Issue number7814
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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