* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received May 30, 2014; Revision received June 10, 2014
Numerous species will confront severe environmental conditions by undergoing significant metabolic rate reduction. Mammalian hibernation is one such natural model of hypometabolism. Hibernators experience considerable physiological, metabolic, and molecular changes to survive the harsh challenges associated with winter. Whether as fuel source or as key signaling molecules, lipids are of primary importance for a successful bout of hibernation and their careful regulation throughout this process is essential. In recent years, a plethora of non-coding RNAs has emerged as potential regulators of targets implicated in lipid metabolism in diverse models. In this review, we introduce the general characteristics associated with mammalian hibernation, present the importance of lipid metabolism prior to and during hibernation, as well as discuss the potential relevance of non-coding RNAs such as miRNAs and lncRNAs during this process.
KEY WORDS: hibernation, hypometabolism, lipid synthesis, fatty acid degradation, microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs