Seasonality of prolactin in birds and mammals

Stewart, C. and Marshall, C. J. (2022) Seasonality of prolactin in birds and mammals. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology, 337(9-10), pp. 919-938. (doi: 10.1002/jez.2634) (PMID:35686456)

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In most animals, annual rhythms in environmental cues and internal programs regulate seasonal physiology and behavior. Prolactin, an evolutionarily ancient hormone, serves as a molecular correlate of seasonal timing in most species. Prolactin is highly pleiotropic with a wide variety of well-documented physiological effects; in a seasonal context prolactin is known to regulate annual changes in pelage and molt. While short-term homeostatic variation of prolactin secretion is under the control of the hypothalamus, long-term seasonal rhythms of prolactin are programmed by endogenous timers that reside in the pituitary gland. The molecular basis of these rhythms is generally understood to be melatonin dependent in mammals. Prolactin rhythmicity persists for several years in many species, in the absence of hypothalamic signaling. Such evidence in mammals has supported the hypothesis that seasonal rhythms in prolactin derive from an endogenous timer within the pituitary gland that is entrained by external photoperiod. In this review, we describe the conserved nature of prolactin signaling in birds and mammals and highlight its role in regulating multiple diverse physiological systems. The review will cover the current understanding of the molecular control of prolactin seasonality and propose a mechanism by which long-term rhythms may be generated in amniotes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Marshall, Dr Christopher and Stewart, Calum
Authors: Stewart, C., and Marshall, C. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology
ISSN (Online):1932-5231
Published Online:10 June 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology 337(9-10): 919-938
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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