Photoperiodic regulation of melatonin membrane receptor (MT1R) expression and steroidogenesis in testis of adult golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus
•Present study established photoperiodic modulation of MT1R expression in testes for the first time.•Presence of a local melatonergic system and its photoperiodic modulation is being proposed.•Photoperiodically modulated peripheral and local melatonin might regulate testicular steroidogenesis via MT1R.•Photoperiod via melatonin modulates testicular steroidogenesis to restrict male fertility to a particular time of year.
Photoperiodic modulation of melatonin membrane receptor (MT1R) expression in testis has never been reported for any seasonal breeder. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the expression dynamics of MT1R in testis and its interaction with testicular steroidogenesis in a long-day breeder, Mesocricetus auratus. Hamsters were exposed to different photoperiodic conditions i.e. critical- (CP; 12.5L:11.5D); short-day- (SD; 8L:16D) and long-day- (LD; 16L:8D) for 10 weeks wherein testicular steroidogenesis, local melatonin synthesis and the expression of MT1R were analyzed. SD induced melatonin suppressed testicular steroidogenesis as evident from regressed testicular histoarchitecture, decreased expression of AR, StAR, LH-R, P450SCC and enzyme activities of 3β- and 17β-HSD. Differential photoperiodic regulation of MT1R expression in testis suggests its involvement in photoperiodic signal transduction for seasonal adjustment of reproduction. Increased S-NAT (Serotonin N-acetyl transferase) activity and local testicular melatonin under SD condition suggest an inhibitory effect of the local melatonergic system on testicular steroidogenesis. Completely opposite responses were recorded for all the parameters analyzed when hamsters were exposed to CP or LD conditions. In conclusion, we may suggest that photoperiod via regulating circulatory and local melatonin level as well as MT1R expression in testes fine tunes the steroidogenesis and thereby, the reproductive status of male golden hamster.
Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology - Volume 140, November 2014, Pages 374–380