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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Platelet function in the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos) compared to man

Fröbert, Ole; Christensen, Kjeld; Fahlman, Åsa; Brunberg, Sven; Josefsson, Johan; Särndahl, Eva; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M;

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Information on hemostasis and platelet function in brown bear (Ursus arctos) is of importance for understanding the physiological, protective changes during hibernation. OBJECTIVE: The study objective was to document platelet activity values in brown bears shortly after leaving the den and compare them to platelet function in healthy humans. METHODS: Blood was drawn from immobilized wild brown bears 7-10 days after leaving the den in mid April. Blood samples from healthy human adults before and after clopidogrel and acetylsalicylic acid administration served as control. We analyzed blood samples by standard blood testing and platelet aggregation was quantified after stimulation with various agonists using multiple electrode aggregometry within 3 hours of sampling. RESULTS: Blood samples were collected from 6 bears (3 females) between 1 and 16 years old and from 10 healthy humans. Results of adenosine diphosphate, aspirin, and thrombin receptor activating peptide tests in bears were all half or less of those in humans. Platelet and white blood cell counts did not differ between species but brown bears had more and smaller red blood cells compared with humans. CONCLUSION: Using three different tests, we conclude that platelet function is lower in brown bears compared to humans. Our findings represent the first descriptive study on platelet function in brown bears and may contribute to explain how bears can endure denning without obvious thrombus building. However, the possibility that our findings reflect test-dependent and not true biological variations in platelet reactivity needs further studies.

Published in

Thrombosis Journal

2010, volume: 8, article number: 11

Authors' information

Fröbert, Ole
Örebro University Hospital
Christensen, Kjeld
Örebro University Hospital
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
University of Calgary
Brunberg, Sven
Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project
Josefsson, Johan
Örebro University Hospital
Särndahl, Eva
Örebro University
Swenson, Jon E.
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Hedmark University College

UKÄ Subject classification

Veterinary Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-9560-8-11

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/32171