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Review

Shiftwork and Light at Night Negatively Impact Molecular and Endocrine Timekeeping in the Female Reproductive Axis in Humans and Rodents

Department of Animal Science and the Reproductive and Developmental Science Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010324
Received: 16 November 2020 / Revised: 24 December 2020 / Accepted: 25 December 2020 / Published: 30 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Clock and Reproduction)
Shiftwork, including work that takes place at night (nightshift) and/or rotates between day and nightshifts, plays an important role in our society, but is associated with decreased health, including reproductive dysfunction. One key factor in shiftwork, exposure to light at night, has been identified as a likely contributor to the underlying health risks associated with shiftwork. Light at night disrupts the behavioral and molecular circadian timekeeping system, which is important for coordinated timing of physiological processes, causing mistimed hormone release and impaired physiological functions. This review focuses on the impact of shiftwork on reproductive function and pregnancy in women and laboratory rodents and potential underlying molecular mechanisms. We summarize the negative impact of shiftwork on female fertility and compare these findings to studies in rodent models of light shifts. Light-shift rodent models recapitulate several aspects of reproductive dysfunction found in shift workers, and their comparison with human studies can enable a deeper understanding of physiological and hormonal responses to light shifts and the underlying molecular mechanisms that may lead to reproductive disruption in human shift workers. The contributions of human and rodent studies are essential to identify the origins of impaired fertility in women employed in shiftwork. View Full-Text
Keywords: fertility; women; rodent; shiftwork; estrous cycles; circadian disruption; infertility; menstrual cycles; pregnancy; birth fertility; women; rodent; shiftwork; estrous cycles; circadian disruption; infertility; menstrual cycles; pregnancy; birth
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yaw, A.M.; McLane-Svoboda, A.K.; Hoffmann, H.M. Shiftwork and Light at Night Negatively Impact Molecular and Endocrine Timekeeping in the Female Reproductive Axis in Humans and Rodents. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 324. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010324

AMA Style

Yaw AM, McLane-Svoboda AK, Hoffmann HM. Shiftwork and Light at Night Negatively Impact Molecular and Endocrine Timekeeping in the Female Reproductive Axis in Humans and Rodents. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(1):324. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010324

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yaw, Alexandra M., Autumn K. McLane-Svoboda, and Hanne M. Hoffmann. 2021. "Shiftwork and Light at Night Negatively Impact Molecular and Endocrine Timekeeping in the Female Reproductive Axis in Humans and Rodents" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 1: 324. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010324

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