Reproductive and metabolic responses of desert adapted common spiny male mice (Acomys cahirinus) to vasopressin treatment

Elena Bukovetzky, Fuad Fares, Hagit Schwimmer, Abraham Haim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sufficient amounts of water and food are important cues for reproduction in an unpredictable environment. We previously demonstrated that increased osmolarity levels, or exogenous vasopressin (VP) treatment halt reproduction of desert adapted golden spiny mice . Acomys russatus. In this research we studied gonad regulation by VP and food restriction (FR) in desert adapted common spiny mouse (. A. cahirinus) males, kept under two different photoperiod regimes-short (SD-8L:16D) and long (LD-16L:8D) days. Mice were treated with VP, FR, and VP. +. FR for three weeks. Response was assessed from changes in relative testis mass, serum testosterone levels and mRNA receptor gene expression of VP, aldosterone and leptin in treated groups, compared with their controls. SD-acclimation increased testosterone levels, VP treatment decreased expression of aldosterone mRNA receptor in the testes of SD-acclimated males. FR under SD-conditions resulted in testosterone decrease and elevation of VP- receptor gene expression in testes. Aldosterone receptor mRNA expression was also detected in WAT. These results support the idea that water and food availability in the habitat may be used as signals for activating the reproductive system through direct effects of VP, aldosterone and leptin on the testes or through WAT by indirect effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the ISF (Israel Academy of Science and Humanities) for financial support through a grant to Abraham Haim and Fuad Fares. We also would like to thank Ms. Lilach Ashkenazi for her help and constructive comments. We thank Ms. Nina Dainov and the staff of the department of Biology at Oranim Campus for their assistance in maintaining the animals. Authors also thank three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this paper.


  • Acomys cahirinus
  • Aldosterone
  • Desert adaptation
  • Leptin receptor expression
  • Reproductive system
  • Vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology


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