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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Seasonal variation in long-day stimulation of prolactin secretion in ewes.

Whereas ewes initiate reproductive activity in response to a photoperiod signal initiated after the winter solstice of 35 long days (35 LD) followed by short days, the reproductive axis fails to respond to this signal between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. The aim of experiment 1 was to determine whether the prolactin axis, like the reproductive axis, is unresponsive to a 35 LD photoperiod signal followed by continuous exposure to short days between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Whereas the 35 LD signal from September 21 (</= 6 h increase in day length) failed to influence prolactin secretion, all other long-day treatments (> 6 h increase in day length) initiated a rise in prolactin in at least 75% of ewes in each group (p < 0.05). The aim of experiment 2 was to determine whether ewes failed to secrete prolactin during a 35 LD photoperiod from September 21 because they did not recognize a 6-h increase in day length at any time of year as a stimulatory photoperiod signal or because hypothalamic/pituitary regulation of prolactin synthesis or secretion is compromised in September. The results demonstrated that while hypothalamic regulation of prolactin secretion and pituitary stores of prolactin were normal at all times of year examined, the ability of ewes to secrete prolactin in response to a long-day photoperiod signal appears to be dependent on photoperiodic history rather than the time of year of the photoperiodic challenge.[1]


  1. Seasonal variation in long-day stimulation of prolactin secretion in ewes. Sweeney, T., Kelly, G., O'Callaghan, D. Biol. Reprod. (1999) [Pubmed]
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