Innovators are full of questions.Nature has answers.


  • Strategy

Photoperiod affects immune response: Siberian hamster


PhodopusSungorus / Philipp Salz.. / LicenseCC-by - Attribution

Macrophages in Siberian hamsters respond differently to pathogens depending on the photoperiod via an upregulation mechanism.

"Defense against pathogens is a critical component of comparative and ecological biology. However, pathogen recognition, a process necessary for the facilitation of systemic immune response, remains understudied in a comparative context, yet could provide insight into how the immune system interacts with pathogens in variable environments. We examined pathogen recognition by macrophages in relation to an ecological variable, day length, in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Because peritoneal macrophages collected in long, summer-like day lengths are more responsive to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge compared to macrophages collected during short, winter-like day lengths, we hypothesized that these functional differences are mediated by variation in pathogen recognition, which occurs through binding to Toll-like receptors (TLRs). We predicted that expression of TLR2 and 4, the receptors that bind and respond specifically to LPS, would be upregulated in long vs. short days, and that expression of these receptors would reflect macrophage responsiveness to LPS. Macrophages collected during long days were again more responsive to LPS challenge compared to short-day macrophages; however, TLR2 and TLR4 expression was similar between photoperiods and were unrelated to our measure of macrophage responsiveness suggesting that other downstream intracellular mechanisms may be responsible for photoperiod-based variation in macrophage responsiveness in this species." (Navara et al. 2007:354)
About the inspiring organism
Med_phodopus_sungorus3 Dzhungarian hamster
Phodopus sungorus (Pallas, 1773)
Common names: Dzhungarian hamster, winter white Russian dwarf hamster, Siberian hamster

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_LC IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: For new immune-stimulants, mimic trigger mechanisms for upregulation of pathogen-recognizers at the right time of year.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Immunology

Navara, Kristen J.; Trainor, Brian C.; Nelson, Randy J. 2007. Photoperiod alters macrophage responsiveness, but not expression of Toll-like receptors in Siberian hamsters. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 148(2): 354-359.
Learn More at Google Scholar Google Scholar  


Login to Post a Comment.

No comments found.