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Article

Artificial Light at Night Increases Recruitment of New Neurons and Differentially Affects Various Brain Regions in Female Zebra Finches

1
School of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 6997801, Israel
2
Department of Natural and Life Sciences, The Open University of Israel, Ra’anana 43710, Israel
3
Department of Animal Physiology and Ethology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, 84215 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176140
Received: 2 August 2020 / Revised: 22 August 2020 / Accepted: 22 August 2020 / Published: 26 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Light's Effects on Animals and Humans)
Despite growing evidence that demonstrate adverse effects of artificial light at night (ALAN) on many species, relatively little is known regarding its effects on brain plasticity in birds. We recently showed that although ALAN increases cell proliferation in brains of birds, neuronal densities in two brain regions decreased, indicating neuronal death, which might be due to mortality of newly produced neurons or of existing ones. Therefore, in the present study we studied the effect of long-term ALAN on the recruitment of newborn neurons into their target regions in the brain. Accordingly, we exposed zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to 5 lux ALAN, and analysed new neuronal recruitment and total neuronal densities in several brain regions. We found that ALAN increased neuronal recruitment, possibly as a compensatory response to ALAN-induced neuronal death, and/or due to increased nocturnal locomotor activity caused by sleep disruption. Moreover, ALAN also had a differential temporal effect on neuronal densities, because hippocampus was more sensitive to ALAN and its neuronal densities were more affected than in other brain regions. Nocturnal melatonin levels under ALAN were significantly lower compared to controls, indicating that very low ALAN intensities suppress melatonin not only in nocturnal, but also in diurnal species. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial light at night (ALAN); brain plasticity; new neuronal recruitment; neuronal densities; hippocampus (HC); Medial striatum (MSt); Nidopallium caudale (NC); melatonin; birds; zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) artificial light at night (ALAN); brain plasticity; new neuronal recruitment; neuronal densities; hippocampus (HC); Medial striatum (MSt); Nidopallium caudale (NC); melatonin; birds; zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moaraf, S.; Heiblum, R.; Vistoropsky, Y.; Okuliarová, M.; Zeman, M.; Barnea, A. Artificial Light at Night Increases Recruitment of New Neurons and Differentially Affects Various Brain Regions in Female Zebra Finches. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 6140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176140

AMA Style

Moaraf S, Heiblum R, Vistoropsky Y, Okuliarová M, Zeman M, Barnea A. Artificial Light at Night Increases Recruitment of New Neurons and Differentially Affects Various Brain Regions in Female Zebra Finches. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(17):6140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176140

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moaraf, Stan, Rachel Heiblum, Yulia Vistoropsky, Monika Okuliarová, Michal Zeman, and Anat Barnea. 2020. "Artificial Light at Night Increases Recruitment of New Neurons and Differentially Affects Various Brain Regions in Female Zebra Finches" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 17: 6140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176140

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