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Horm Behav. 2006 Apr;49(4):463-9. Epub 2005 Nov 15.

Short photoperiod influences energy intake and serum leptin level in Brandt's voles (Microtus brandtii).

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State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management for Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 25 Beisihuan Xilu, Zhongguancun, Haidian, Beijing 100080, PR China.


Photoperiod cues play important roles in the regulation of seasonal variations in body mass (BM) and energy balance for many small mammals. The present study was designed to examine the effects of photoperiod acclimation on BM, energy intake, and serum leptin levels in Brandt's voles (Microtus (Lasiopodomys) brandtii). After 4 weeks of acclimation to either long (LD; light:dark, 16:8) or short (SD; 8:16) photoperiod, SD voles had lower BM, body fat mass, and dry mass of liver and kidneys, but higher digestible energy intake in comparison to LD voles. SD voles also showed a lower level of serum leptin than did LD voles. Furthermore, the level of serum leptin was correlated positively with body fat mass and negatively with gross energy intake. Together, these data suggest that Brandt's voles employ a strategy of minimizing body growth, increasing energy intake, and mobilizing fat deposition in response to cues associated with short photoperiod. Furthermore, leptin seems to be involved in the regulation of BM and energy balance mediated by photoperiod.

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