Photoperiod affects distribution of dynorphin A in the brain of Siberian hamster
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Dynorphin A1?17 (DYN A1?17) acting in the CNS is known to affect thermoregulation, water and energy balance in the short time scale. In this study a long-term alteration of these functions induced by changes of day length in the highly photoperiodic species, the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) was studied using immunohistochemistry for DYN A1?17. We found that in the long day (LD, L:D 16 h:8 h) more brain areas express DYN A1?17 peptide than in the short day (SD, L:D 8 h:16 h) conditions. Structures of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis as well as cells of the ependyma, subcomissural organ and choroid plexus of the lateral and third brain ventricles are immunoreactive to anti-dynorphin IgG only in the LD. This might indicate a seasonal regulatory role of DYN A1?17 in physiological adaptations to severe climate changes.
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Ksenia Z. Meyza, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 3 Pasteur St., 02-093 Warsaw, Poland