Effect of Exercise on Photoperiod-Regulated Hypothalamic Gene Expression and Peripheral Hormones in the Seasonal Dwarf Hamster Phodopus sungorus

Ines Petri, Rebecca Dumbell, Frank Scherbarth, Stephan Steinlechner, Perry Barrett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) is a seasonal mammal responding to the annual cycle in photoperiod with anticipatory physiological adaptations. This includes a reduction in food intake and body weight during the autumn in anticipation of seasonally reduced food availability. In the laboratory, short-day induction of body weight loss can be reversed or prevented by voluntary exercise undertaken when a running wheel is introduced into the home cage. The mechanism by which exercise prevents or reverses body weight reduction is unknown, but one hypothesis is a reversal of short-day photoperiod induced gene expression changes in the hypothalamus that underpin body weight regulation. Alternatively, we postulate an exercise-related anabolic effect involving the growth hormone axis. To test these hypotheses we established photoperiod-running wheel experiments of 8 to 16 weeks duration assessing body weight, food intake, organ mass, lean and fat mass by magnetic resonance, circulating hormones FGF21 and insulin and hypothalamic gene expression. In response to running wheel activity, short-day housed hamsters increased body weight. Compared to short-day housed sedentary hamsters the body weight increase was accompanied by higher food intake, maintenance of tissue mass of key organs such as the liver, maintenance of lean and fat mass and hormonal profiles indicative of long day housed hamsters but there was no overall reversal of hypothalamic gene expression regulated by photoperiod. Therefore the mechanism by which activity induces body weight gain is likely to act largely independently of photoperiod regulated gene expression in the hypothalamus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number90253
Number of pages16
JournalPloS ONE
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2014

Keywords

  • melatonin-related receptor
  • growth-factor 21
  • Siberian hamster
  • body-weight
  • Djungarian Hamster
  • arcuate nucleus
  • skeletal-muscle
  • neuropeptide-Y
  • messenger-RNA
  • food-intake

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