Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013 Apr 15;304(8):R628-35. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00577.2012. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Photoperiod history-dependent responses to intermediate day lengths engage hypothalamic iodothyronine deiodinase type III mRNA expression.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Perihypothalamic thyroid hormone signaling features prominently in the seasonal control of reproductive physiology. Triiodothyronine (T(3)) signaling stimulates gonadal development, and decrements in T(3) signaling are associated with gonadal regression. Type 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO3) converts the prohormone thyroxine (T(4)) into biologically inactive 3,3',5'-triiodothyronine, and in long-day breeding Siberian hamsters exposure to long (LD) and short (SD) photoperiods, respectively, inhibit and stimulate hypothalamic dio3 mRNA expression. Reproductive responses to intermediate-duration photoperiods (IntD) occur in a history-dependent manner; IntDs are interpreted as inhibitory only when preceded by longer photoperiods. Because dio3 expression has only been evaluated under LD or SD photoperiods, it is not known whether hypothalamic dio3 encodes absolute photoperiod duration or the reproductive interpretation of photoperiod. Male Siberian hamsters with and without a prior history of LD were exposed to IntD photoperiods, and hypothalamic dio3 mRNA expression was measured 6 wk later. Hamsters with a LD photoperiod history exhibited gonadal regression in IntD and a marked upregulation of hypothalamic dio3 expression, whereas in hamsters without prior exposure to LD, gonadal responses to IntD were absent, and dio3 expression remained low. Patterns of deiodinase expression in hamsters maintained in chronic IntD photoperiods did not appear to reflect feedback effects of gonadal status. Hypothalamic expression of dio3 does not exclusively reflect ambient photoperiod, but rather the context-dependent reproductive interpretation of photoperiod. Neuroendocrine mechanisms that compare current and prior photoperiods, which permit detection of directional changes in day length, occur either upstream, or at the level, of hypothalamic dio3 expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center