The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus mediates the photoperiodic control of reproduction but not the effects of light of the circadian rhythm of activity

Gary E. Pickard, Fred W. Turek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations

Abstract

Photoperiods of less than 12.5 h of light/24 h induce gonadal regression in the golden hamster. Photic information is relayed from the retina to the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a structure responsible for the generation of many circadian rhythms including the circadian rhythms in locomotor activity and pineal melatonin synthesis and release. Although pineal melatonin mediates the photoperiodic-neuroendocrine response, the complete neural circuit from the SCN to the pineal gland is unknown. Complete destruction of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) prevented short-day-induced testicular regression without affecting the circadian rhythm of locomotor activity. The results indicate that the PVN plays an important role in the photoperiodic-neuroendocrine circuit and is responsible for relaying information from the SCN to the pineal. A different efferent pathway connects the SCN to structures in the brain responsible for locomotor activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 23 1983

Keywords

  • circadian rhythm
  • golden hamster
  • locomotor activity
  • paraventricular nucleus
  • photoperiod
  • reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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