Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) mRNA is expressed in a number of hypothalamic nuclei including the arcuate nucleus (ARC). An increase in CART gene expression in the ARC of juvenile female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) 14 days after transfer to short photoperiod at weaning and prior to major divergence of body weight trajectory in this seasonal mammal implicates CART in the induction of programmed weight change. In the current series of experiments, elevated CART mRNA in short photoperiod juvenile female animals relative to long photoperiod controls was apparent throughout the caudal-rostral extent of the ARC after 14 days, but was not observed when short photoperiod exposure was limited to 4-7 days. Elevated CART gene expression was also observed in juvenile males 14 days after transfer to short photoperiod at weaning, in adult female hamsters 14 days after transfer to short photoperiod and in adult male hamsters 21 days after transfer to short photoperiod. There were no consistent trends in expression levels of other energy balance-related genes with these relatively short duration photoperiod manipulations, suggesting that CART may be involved in short photoperiod-programmed body weight regulation. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
- body weight
- Phodopus sungorus
- cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript
- Body weight
- Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript