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|Title:||Photoperiodic regulation of seasonal reproduction in higher vertebrates|
|Abstract:||Long-lived animals such as birds and mammals adapt readily to seasonal changes in their environment. They integrate environmental cues with their internal clocks to prepare and time seasonal physiological changes. This is reflected in several seasonal phenotypes, particularly in those linked with migration, hibernation, pelage growth, reproduction and molt. The two endocrine secretions that play key roles in regulating the seasonal physiology are melatonin and thyroid hormone. Whereas, melatonin is used as an endocrine index of day length (and consequently duration of night), the seasonal up- and down-regulation of thyroid hormone affects the physiology, perhaps by influencing different pathways. Both of these hormones are shown to act via a ‘photoperiodic axis’ constituted by the photoreceptors, hypothalamus and pituitary. Recent studies have revealed that the pars tuberalis that connects hypothalamus and pituitary, locally synthesizes the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in response to light (birds) or melatonin (mammals). The levels of TSH regulate the DIO2 and DIO3 synthesis in the ependymal cells in hypothalamus, and in turn affect the release of gonadotropin releasing hormone. This review mainly focuses on the current understanding of the mechanisms of photoperiodic regulation of seasonal responses in the higher vertebrates.|
|ISSN:||0975-1009 (Online); 0019-5189 (Print)|
|Appears in Collections:||IJEB Vol.52(05) [May 2014]|
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