Photoperiodic time measurement and seasonal immunological plasticity

Stevenson, T. J. and Prendergast, B. J. (2015) Photoperiodic time measurement and seasonal immunological plasticity. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 37, pp. 76-88. (doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2014.10.002) (PMID:25456046) (PMCID:PMC4405432)

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Abstract

Seasonal variations in immunity are common in nature, and changes in day length are sufficient to trigger enhancement and suppression of immune function in many vertebrates. Drawing primarily on data from Siberian hamsters, this review describes formal and physiological aspects of the neuroendocrine regulation of seasonal changes in mammalian immunity. Photoperiod regulates immunity in a trait-specific manner, and seasonal changes in gonadal hormone secretion and thyroid hormone signaling all participate in seasonal immunomodulation. Photoperiod-driven changes in the hamster reproductive and immune systems are associated with changes in iodothyronine deiodinase-mediated thyroid hormone signaling, but photoperiod exerts opposite effects on select aspects of the epigenetic regulation of reproductive neuroendocrine and lymphoid tissues. Photoperiodic changes in immunocompetence may explain a proportion of the annual variance in disease incidence and severity in nature, and provide a useful framework to help understand brain-immune interactions.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by NIH Grant AI-67406 from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. We thank George Bentley for comments on a draft of the manuscript.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stevenson, Dr Tyler
Authors: Stevenson, T. J., and Prendergast, B. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0091-3022
ISSN (Online):0091-3022
Published Online:27 October 2014

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