Nocturnal illumination does not necessarily stimulate the photoperiodic response, despite mimicking the effects of constant light on the circadian system in the male Syrian hamster.

Abstract

In an effort to determine the inductive component(s) of photic input in long day seasonal breeders, adult male Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) were exposed to one of nine lighting conditions for a duration of 10 weeks: a light-dark cycle of 14 hours of light followed by 10 hours of dark (LD 14:10, a long photoperiod); LD 10:14 (a short photoperiod); a high frequency light-dark cycle of 1 hour of light and 1 hour of dark (LD 1:1); a higher frequency light-dark cycle of 1 minute of light and 1 minute of dark (LD 1m:1m); constant light (LL); constant dark (DD); feedback lighting (LDFB; a condition that illuminates the cage in response to locomotor activity); a feedback lighting neighbor control (LDFB NC; the animal receives the same light pattern as a paired animal in LDFB, but has no control over it); or reverse feedback lighting (rLDFB; a condition that darkens an illuminated cage in response to locomotor activity). Exposure to LL, LD 1:1, LD 1m:1m, LDFB and rLDFB significantly and similarly lengthened the free-running period of the locomotor rhythm when compared to the period of animals in DD. The paired tests and accessory reproductive glands weights, spermiogenesis, seminiferous tubule diameter and serum concentrations of testosterone, prolactin, LH and FSH, suggest that LD 14:10, LL, LD 1:1, rLDFB and LDFB NC maintain reproductive function in the Syrian hamster, while LD 10:14, DD, LD 1m:1m and LDFB do not. It is known that as little as two 1-second pulses of light are stimulatory if coincident with the subjective night (17.22). Thus, it is not surprising that LD 1:1 is stimulatory. LD 1m:1m is not stimulatory, however, despite an identical quanta of light per 24 hours and similar phase relationship. It appears that mere light exposure during the subjective night is not necessarily reproductively inductive. It would also appear that behaviorally generated light-dark cycles can be (i.e., LDFB), but are not necessarily (i.e., rLDFB) inhibitory to the maintenance of the reproductive system in long day breeders. Furthermore, the lighting pattern derived from LDFB is stimulatory if given exogenously (i.e., LDFB NC). Although it is not understood why light exposure that is coincident with the subjective night (i.e., LD 1m:1m and LDFB) is not stimulatory in long day breeders, a possible hypothesis is that an internal coincidence model is involved in the photoperiodic response and that multiple transitions during the subjective night may cause a dissociation of internal oscillations which must be in phase for light to be stimulatory.

Cite this paper

@article{Ferraro1990NocturnalID, title={Nocturnal illumination does not necessarily stimulate the photoperiodic response, despite mimicking the effects of constant light on the circadian system in the male Syrian hamster.}, author={J L S Ferraro and Howard N Krum and Andrzej Bartke and G. Wassmer and Varadaraj Chandrashekar and Sandra D. Michael and Frank M. Sulzman}, journal={Physiology & behavior}, year={1990}, volume={47 3}, pages={577-88} }