Platelet proteome dynamics in hibernating 13-lined ground squirrels

Scott Cooper, Phillip A. Wilmarth, Jennifer M. Cunliffe, John Klimek, Jiaqing Pang, Samuel Tassi Yunga, Jessica Minnier, Ashok Reddy, Larry David, Joseph E. Aslan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Hibernating mammals undergo a dramatic drop in temperature and blood flow during torpor, yet avoid stasis blood clotting through mechanisms that remain unspecified. The effects of hibernation on hemostasis are especially complex, as cold temperatures generally activate platelets, resulting in platelet clearance and cold storage lesions in the context of blood transfusion. With a hibernating body temperature of 4°C–8°C, 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) provide a model to study hemostasis as well as platelet cold storage lesion resistance during hibernation. Here, we quantified and systematically compared proteomes of platelets collected from ground squirrels at summer (active), fall (entrance), and winter (topor) to elucidate how molecular-level changes in platelets may support hemostatic adaptations in torpor. Platelets were isolated from a total of 11 squirrels in June, October, and January. Platelet lysates from each animal were digested with trypsin prior to 11-plex tandem mass tag (TMT) labeling, followed by LC-MS/MS analysis for relative protein quantification. We measured >700 proteins with significant variations in abundance in platelets over the course of entrance, torpor, and activity—including systems of proteins regulating translation, secretion, metabolism, complement, and coagulation cascades. We also noted species-specific differences in levels of hemostatic, secretory, and inflammatory regulators in ground squirrel platelets relative to human platelets. Altogether, we provide the first ever proteomic characterization of platelets from hibernating animals, where systematic changes in metabolic, hemostatic, and other proteins may account for physiological adaptations in torpor and also inform translational effort to improve cold storage of human platelets for transfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-485
Number of pages13
JournalPhysiological genomics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Hypothermia
  • Lipoprotein
  • Platelet storage
  • Proteomics
  • Transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics


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