Learn More
Seasonal Siberian hamsters lose fat reserves, decrease body weight and leptin concentrations, and suppress reproduction on short-day photoperiod (SD). Chronic leptin infusion at physiological doses caused body weight and fat loss in SD animals but was ineffective in long-day (LD) hamsters. Using ovariectomized estrogen-treated females, we tested the(More)
Syrian hamsters exhibit a marked seasonal variation in prolactin secretion. The aim of this study was to analyse the nature of the photoperiodic regulation of prolactin gene expression, and to define the role of melatonin and the pars tuberalis of the anterior pituitary in this process. Pituitary prolactin gene expression, restricted to the pars distalis,(More)
Although analysis of luciferase activity using luminescence imaging has provided new insights into the dynamic regulation of gene expression in living tIssues, studies in vitro have relied on stably transfected clonal cell lines, limiting the choice of cell type and species, or DNA microinjection, which is arduous and highly selective. We report here the(More)
In many mammals, changes in daylength (photoperiod) regulate multiple aspects of physiology, including the synthesis and secretion of the anterior pituitary hormone prolactin. Here, we tested the hypothesis that individual lactotroph cells exhibit a heterogeneous response to changes in photoperiod, by exploiting a recently developed assay for prolactin gene(More)
In many seasonally breeding rodents, reproduction and metabolism are activated by long summer days (LD) and inhibited by short winter days (SD). After several months of SD, animals become refractory to this inhibitory photoperiod and spontaneously revert to LD-like physiology. The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) house the primary circadian oscillator in(More)
Most mammals use changing annual day-length cycles to regulate pineal melatonin secretion and thereby drive many physiological rhythms including reproduction, metabolism, immune function, and pelage. Prolonged exposure to short winter day lengths results in refractoriness, a spontaneous reversion to long-day physiological status. Despite its critical role(More)
Leptin may play a role in appetite regulation and metabolism, but its reproductive role is less clear. In photoperiodic Siberian hamsters, seasonal changes in fatness, leptin gene expression, and metabolism occur synchronously with activation or suppression of reproduction, analogous to puberty. Here, we test the hypothesis that seasonal changes in leptin(More)
The tau mutation is a semi-dominant autosomal mutation which, in homozygotes, accelerates the period of the circadian activity cycle by approximately 4 h. In mammals, the circadian system contributes to seasonal photoperiodic time measurement by generating a repeated daily melatonin signal during the hours of darkness. Our earlier studies suggest an altered(More)
The role of the circadian clock in the reproductive development of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus was examined in wild type and circadian tau mutant hamsters reared from birth to 26 weeks of age under constant dim red light. Testis diameter and body weights were determined at weekly intervals in male hamsters from 4 weeks of age. In both genotypes,(More)
Changes in the duration of the nocturnal peak of the circadian rhythm of melatonin secretion by the pineal gland mediate pohotoperiodic control of reproductive cycles in mammals. The present study examined whether the tau mutation of the circadian clock of the Syrian hamster altered the ability of the animals to exhibit photoperiodic, gonadal responses to(More)