1932

Abstract

Organisms use changes in photoperiod for seasonal reproduction to maximize the survival of their offspring. Birds have sophisticated seasonal mechanisms and are therefore excellent models for studying these phenomena. Birds perceive light via deep-brain photoreceptors and long day–induced thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, thyrotropin) in the pars tuberalis of the pituitary gland (PT), which cause local thyroid hormone activation within the mediobasal hypothalamus. The local bioactive thyroid hormone controls seasonal gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion and subsequent gonadotropin secretion. In mammals, the eyes are believed to be the only photoreceptor organ, and nocturnal melatonin secretion triggers an endocrine signal that communicates information about the photoperiod to the PT to regulate TSH. In contrast, in Salmonidae fish the input pathway to the neuroendocrine output pathway appears to be localized in the saccus vasculosus. Thus, comparative analysis is an effective way to uncover the universality and diversity of fundamental traits in various organisms.

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2019-02-15
2024-06-13
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