Photoperiodic regulation of histamine H3 receptor and VGF messenger ribonucleic acid in the arcuate nucleus of the Siberian hamster

Perry Barrett, Alexander W. Ross, Ales Balik, Pauline A. Littlewood, Julian G. Mercer, Kim M. Moar, Tina Sallmen, Jan Kaslin, Pertti Panula, Sandrine Schuhler, Francis J. Ebling, Caroline Ubeaud, Peter J. Morgan

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77 Citations (Scopus)


To survive winter the Siberian hamster lias evolved profound physiological and behavioral adaptations, including a moult to winter pelage, regression of the reproductive axis, onset of daily torpor and increased capacity for thermogenesis. However, one of the most striking adaptations is the catabolism of intraabdominal and sc fat reserves contributing to the loss of up to 40% of body weight. These physiological and behavioral adaptations are photoperiodically driven, yet neither the site(s) in the brain nor the molecular mechanism(s) involved in the regulation of these profound adaptations is known. Here we report a dynamic regulation of gene expression in a dorsal region of the medial posterior area of the arcuate nucleus (dmpARC) of the Siberian and Syrian hamster brain in response to altered photoperiod. We show mRNA for the histamine H3 receptor is down-regulated and VGF is up-regulated in the dmpARC in hamsters switched from long- to short-day photoperiod. These data provide further evidence to support the view that the dmpARC is a major site to relay photoperiodic changes and as a site for the long-term regulation of seasonal physiology and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1930-1939
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

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