Bats exhibit an unusual ability to tolerate potentially ischemic conditions in both the cardiovascular and neurophysiological systems during arousal from hibernation and/or daily torpor. Lee et al. (2002) reported that oxygen consumption during arousal thermogenesis increased from near zero to 11.9 ml/kg/h. They also reported a rise in body temperature from 7 to 35° Celsius, suggesting potentially ischemic conditions in the heart, brain and other vital organs and tissues. Glucose related proteins (GRPs), which are oxidative stress signaling molecules, were also observed to increase in the brain of the bat. One potentially valuable line of research might be to determine whether expression of the GRPs change over time in the bat and if a similar mechanism prevent cardiac damage due to hypoxia.
The auditory system of Microchiropteran bats is highly refined and potentially represents the single most valuable sensory system inherent to their survival as they rely in echolocation to forage and navigate. Kirkegaard and Jorgensen (2000) report that adult Daubenton's bats exhibit both innervated hair cells and apoptotic hair cells, suggesting a continuous turnover in their postembryonic life. This is contrary to what is observed in humans and mice where the number of innervated hair cells continuously declines with age. Research into the mechanisms underlying regeneration of innervated hair cells might provide a useful model for potential therapeutic applications in humans.
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Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...