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Numerous clinical and experimental studies have linked stress to changes in risk factors associated with the development of physiological syndromes, including metabolic disorders. How different mediators of the stress response, such as corticosterone (CORT), influence these changes in risk remains unclear. Although CORT has beneficial short-term effects,(More)
Particulate matter air pollution is a pervasive global risk factor implicated in the genesis of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. Although the effects of prolonged exposure to air pollution are well characterized with respect to pulmonary and cardiovascular function, comparatively little is known about the impact of particulate matter on affective and(More)
Photoperiodism is the ability of plants and animals to measure environmental day length to ascertain time of year. Central to the evolution of photoperiodism in animals is the adaptive distribution of energetically challenging activities across the year to optimize reproductive fitness while balancing the energetic tradeoffs necessary for(More)
Ecoimmunologists have made many important discoveries about the immune systems of wild animals including (1) immune activity is usually costly, (2) counter-intuitive decrements in immune activity are often due to trade-offs with other physiological activities or behaviors, and (3) immune activity is a currency by which sexually selected traits are indices(More)
We review a concept of the most primitive, fundamental function of the vertebrate CNS, generalized arousal (GA). Three independent lines of evidence indicate the existence of GA: statistical, genetic, and mechanistic. Here we ask, is this concept amenable to quantitative analysis? Answering in the affirmative, four quantitative approaches have proven(More)
D-aspartate, an abundant D-amino acid enriched in neuroendocrine tissues, can be degraded by D-aspartate oxidase (Ddo). To elucidate the function of D-aspartate, we generated mice with targeted deletion of Ddo (Ddo(-/-)) and observe massive but selective augmentations of D-aspartate in various tissues. The pituitary intermediate lobe, normally devoid of(More)
The global increase in the prevalence of obesity and metabolic disorders coincides with the increase of exposure to light at night (LAN) and shift work. Circadian regulation of energy homeostasis is controlled by an endogenous biological clock that is synchronized by light information. To promote optimal adaptive functioning, the circadian clock prepares(More)
Animals living in temporally dynamic environments experience variation in resource availability, climate and threat of infection over the course of the year. Thus, to survive and reproduce successfully, these organisms must allocate resources among competing physiological systems in such a way as to maximize fitness in changing environments. Here, we review(More)
Immune activity is variable within and among vertebrates despite the potentially large fitness costs of pathogens to their hosts. From the perspective of life history theory, immunological variability may be the consequence of counterbalancing investments in immune defense against other expensive physiological processes, namely, reproduction. In the present(More)
Stressors during early life induce anxiety- and depressive-like responses in adult rodents. Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) exposed to short days post-weaning also increase adult anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. To test the hypothesis that melatonin and exposure to stressors early in life interact to alter adult affective responses, we(More)