Fall is in the Air: DNA Methylation Regulates Seasonal Hormonal Changes in Hamsters. |EpiBeat

Ah the fall…the leaves are changing color, you can feel a chill in the air, the days are getting shorter, and your libido is decreasing…wait, what?!?  Well, maybe not in humans, but seasonal changes that affect the length of day, or photoperiod, can have a profound effect on reproductive behavior and hormone expression in seasonal breeding vertebrates, such as hamsters.  The question of whether or not epigenetic changes can occur in response to shifting photoperiods is still relatively unknown.  A recent study conducted by Dr.  Stevenson and Dr. Prendergast from the University of Chicago reported that different photoperiods were associated with epigenetic changes not only in the DNA methylation status of a hypothalamic-derived enzyme, but in the expression of DNA methyltransferases as well.
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