Document Detail

Food restriction affects the gonadotropin releasing hormone neuronal system of male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11578529     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Individuals of species inhabiting temperate and boreal latitudes optimize the timing of energetically costly processes by curtailing nonessential energetically demanding processes when environmental conditions are not favourable. One proximate environmental variable used to fine-tune moment-to-moment changes in reproductive physiology and behaviour is food intake. The neuroendocrine mechanisms by which food restriction leads to the cessation of reproduction in seasonally breeding rodent species remain largely unspecified. The present study sought to determine the effects of extended food restriction on the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal system. Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) were either fed ad libitum or were exposed to either 1, 2 or 3 weeks of moderate (70% of daily mean) food restriction. In accordance with previous studies of food restriction, gross reproductive organ masses and body mass were unaffected by food deprivation. Although 1 week of food restriction did not result in alterations in the GnRH neuronal system, food restriction for 2 weeks was associated with increased GnRH-immunoreactive (GnRH-ir) neurone soma size. Three weeks of food restriction resulted in a pronounced increase in GnRH-ir neurone numbers, as well as an increase in fibre intensity in the main fibre pathway to the median eminence. Taken together, these findings suggest that extended food restriction leads to modifications in the GnRH neuronal system, providing a means for temporary cessation of reproduction without gross alterations in reproductive physiology. This transient change in the hypothalmo-pituitary-gonadal axis, without pronounced changes in reproductive organ morphology, likely provides a mechanism for the rapid reinitiation of breeding in nature when local conditions provide adequate food availability.
L J Kriegsfeld; N J Ranalli; A G Trasy; R J Nelson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neuroendocrinology     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0953-8194     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neuroendocrinol.     Publication Date:  2001 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-10-01     Completed Date:  2001-10-25     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8913461     Medline TA:  J Neuroendocrinol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  791-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adipose Tissue / metabolism
Arvicolinae / physiology*
Brain / cytology,  physiology
Cell Count
Cell Size
Food Deprivation / physiology*
Frontal Lobe / cytology,  physiology
Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / physiology*
Hypothalamus, Anterior / cytology,  physiology
Neurons / cytology,  physiology*
Preoptic Area / cytology
Septum Pellucidum / cytology,  physiology
Time Factors
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
33515-09-2/Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone

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