Age-related changes in the photoperiodic response of siberian hamsters

Daniel J. Bernard*, Susan Losee-Olson, Fred W. Turek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Previous studies indicate that as Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) age, they may lose their ability to show gonadal regression in response to short days. In one study, hamsters that regressed on short days early in life failed to regress when exposed to short days a second time later in life. Thus, Siberian hamsters may experience age, related deficits in photoresponsiveness or may be incapable of regressing twice. In the present study, we attempted to discriminate between these possibilities by examining patterns of gonadal regression in hamsters transferred back and forth from long (16L:8D) to short days (6L:18D) every 6.5, 13, or 26 wk for a 2-yr period. A control group was maintained on long days and had enlarged gonads throughout the entire study. Hamsters alternating between 26 wk of long and short days exhibited complete gonadal regression during their initial but not during their second exposure to short days. Hamsters alternated between long and short days every 13 or 6.5 wk showed regression two to three times, respectively. After about 52 wk of age, the majority of animals in both groups did not regress when exposed to short days. Taken together, the results of this experiment indicate that male Siberian hamsters 1) can exhibit at least two rounds of short-day-induced gonadal regression and 2) fail to regress on short days after about 1 yr of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-177
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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