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Author (up) Aubrecht, T.; Weil, Z.; Nelson, R. url  doi
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  Title Dim light at night interferes with the development of the short-day phenotype and impairs cell-mediated immunity in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) Type Journal Article
  Year 2014 Publication Journal of Experimental Zoology Abbreviated Journal J. Exp. Zool.  
  Volume 321 Issue 8 Pages 450-456  
  Keywords animals; seasonal timing; chronobiological effects  
  Abstract Winter is a challenging time to survive and breed outside of the tropics. Animals use day length (photoperiod) to regulate seasonally appropriate adaptations in anticipation of challenging winter conditions. The net result of these photoperiod-mediated adjustments is enhanced immune function and increased survival. Thus, the ability to discriminate day length information is critical for survival and reproduction in small animals. However, during the past century, urban and suburban development has rapidly expanded and filled the night sky with light from various sources, obscuring crucial light-dark signals, which alters physiological interpretation of day lengths. Furthermore, reduced space, increased proximity to people, and the presence of light at night may act as stressors for small animals. Whereas acute stressors typically enhance immune responses, chronic exposure to stressors often impairs immune responses. Therefore, we hypothesized that the combination of dim light at night and chronic stress interferes with enhanced cell-mediated immunity observed during short days. Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) were assigned to short or long days with dark nights (0 lux) or dim (5 lux) light at night for 10 weeks. Following 2 weeks of chronic restraint (6 hr/day), a model of chronic stress, delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses were assessed. Both dim light at night and restraint reduced the DTH response. Dim light at night during long nights produced an intermediate short day phenotype. These results suggest the constant presence of light at night could negatively affect survival of photoperiodic rodents by disrupting the timing of breeding and immune responses.  
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  Call Number LoNNe @ schroer @ Serial 1574  
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