Prior experience with photostimulation enhances photo-induced reproductive response in female house finches

Salvante, Katrina G; Dawson, Alistair; Aldredge, Robert A.; Sharp, Peter J.; Sockman, Keith W.. 2013 Prior experience with photostimulation enhances photo-induced reproductive response in female house finches. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 28 (1). 38-50.

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In vertebrates, reproductive output often increases with age. Unlike older birds, first-year photoperiodic birds lack experience with the reproductively stimulatory effects of long day lengths (photostimulation). We examined whether age-related differences in annual reproductive development could be partially attributed to previous experience with photostimulation in the photoperiodic house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus). By manipulating photoperiod, we generated 2 groups of first-year females: a photo-experienced group that underwent 1 photoperiodically induced cycle of gonadal development and regression and a photo-naïve group exposed to long days since hatch. We transferred both groups from long to short days and then photostimulated and exposed them to male birdsong prior to sacrifice. Following concurrent photostimulation, both groups exhibited similar plasma luteinizing hormone surges and hypothalamic vasoactive intestinal polypeptide immunoreactivity. In contrast, hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone immunoreactivity and circulating vitellogenin levels were higher in photo-experienced birds, and yolk deposition occurred in only 2 females, both of which were photo-experienced. Our results demonstrate that photo-experience enhances some aspects of early photo-induced reproductive development and raise the hypothesis that photo-experience may account for at least some age-related variation in reproductive output.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.4 - Estimate the impact of the main drivers and pressures on biodiversity ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Watt
ISSN: 0748-7304
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This document is the author’s final manuscript version of the journal article, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer review process. Some differences between this and the publisher’s version remain. You are advised to consult the publisher’s version if you wish to cite from this article. The final publication is available at
Additional Keywords: bird song, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), luteinizing hormone (LH), parental age, photoperiodic history, seasonal breeding, reproduction, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), vitellogenin
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 19 Mar 2013 12:28 +0 (UTC)

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