Transcriptome analysis during photostimulated recrudescence reveals distinct patterns of gene regulation in Siberian hamster ovaries

Kathleen Leon, Jon D. Hennebold, Suzanne S. Fei, Kelly A. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In Siberian hamsters, exposure to short days (SDs, 8 h light:16 h dark) reduces reproductive function centrally by decreasing gonadotropin secretion, whereas subsequent transfer of photoinhibited hamsters to stimulatory long days (LDs, 16 L:8 D) promotes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) release inducing ovarian recrudescence. Although differences between SD and LD ovaries have been investigated, a systematic investigation of the ovarian transcriptome across photoperiod groups to identify potentially novel factors that contribute to photostimulated restoration of ovarian function had not been conducted. Hamsters were assigned to one of four photoperiod groups: LD to maintain ovarian cyclicity, SD to induce ovarian regression, or post transfer (PT), where females housed in SD for 14-weeks were transferred to LD for 2-days or 1-week to reflect photostimulated ovaries prior to (PTd2) and following (PTw1) the return of systemic FSH. Ovarian RNA was extracted to create RNA-sequencing libraries and short-read sequencing Illumina assays that mapped and quantified the ovarian transcriptomes (n = 4/group). Ovarian and uterine masses, plasma FSH, and numbers of antral follicles and corpora lutea decreased in SD as compared to LD ovaries (P < 0.05). When reads were aligned to the mouse genome, 18 548 genes were sufficiently quantified. Most of the differentially expressed genes noted between functional LD ovaries and regressed SD ovaries; however, five main expression patterns were identified across photoperiod groups. These results, generally corroborated by select protein immunostaining, provide a map of photoregulated ovary function and identify novel genes that may contribute to the photostimulated resumption of ovarian activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-559
Number of pages21
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 13 2020


  • comparative reproduction
  • follicular development
  • genomics
  • ovary
  • photoperiod

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptome analysis during photostimulated recrudescence reveals distinct patterns of gene regulation in Siberian hamster ovaries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this