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Seasonal changes in concentrations of plasma LH and prolactin associated with the advance in the development of photorefractoriness and molt by high temperature in the starling

Dawson, Alistair; Sharp, Peter J.. 2010 Seasonal changes in concentrations of plasma LH and prolactin associated with the advance in the development of photorefractoriness and molt by high temperature in the starling. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 167 (1). 122-127. 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.02.004

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Abstract/Summary

In a study on starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) kept on a simulated annual cycle in photoperiod, temperature had no effect on the timing or rate of testicular maturation but high temperature resulted in an advance in the timing of testicular regression and molt (Dawson, 2005). This study asks whether the earlier gonadal regression in response to higher temperature represents a central neuroendocrine response to temperature, and secondly, whether prolactin plays a role in the earlier regression. Castrated starlings were kept on a simulated annual cycle of photoperiod at either 8C or 18C. Circulating LH and prolactin concentrations were measured and the progress of the post-nuptial molt was recorded as an external indicator of the development of photorefractoriness. Additionally plasma prolactin was measured in samples taken from intact male and female starlings in the 2005 study. In castrated birds, LH concentrations decreased three weeks earlier at 18C. These birds also showed the same three week advance in molt as males and females in the earlier study. This demonstrates that the advance in regression caused by higher temperatures probably results from a central neuroendocrine mechanism, i.e. an advance in photorefractoriness, rather than an effect at the level of the gonads. Temperature had a highly significant effect on the changes in prolactin – peak prolactin occurred three weeks earlier at 18C. However, there was no clear consistent significant difference in prolactin between the two temperatures in advance of the onset of photorefractoriness, so the advance in photorefractoriness may not be mediated by prolactin. The higher temperature resulted in a significantly earlier decrease in prolactin and this may be causally related to the advance in molt.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.02.004
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.4 - Estimate the impact of the main drivers and pressures on biodiversity ...
CEH Sections: Watt
ISSN: 0016-6480
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 17 May 2010 13:59
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/9678

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