About this Research Topic
The evolution of many marine mammal species from a terrestrial to aquatic species approximately 53 million years ago led to fundamental adaptation of their physiology (e.g. thickened blubber) and metabolism. The thick blubber layer is located right under the skin and serves as an insulator, an energy store and provides buoyancy. However, blubber is also metabolically active and expresses proteins involved in metabolism, immune response, inflammation and lipid metabolism. These physiological mechanisms are likely to differ considerably from those of terrestrial mammal model systems. To date, many of the characteristics of blubber tissue are poorly understood, and the influence metabolic processes in this tissue have on individual health characteristics remain unclear.
This research topic intends to present Original research and Review manuscripts to provide a clearer characterization of the role of blubber in regulating metabolism and would welcome submissions on the following themes (but not limited to):
-Evolution of genes involved in fat deposition and signaling mechanisms
-Estimation of body condition to assess health or reproductive success
-Metabolic, structural and physiological changes associated with environmental stressors
-Integrative or systems physiology approaches to blubber signaling
-Use of omics approaches
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.