Diurnal sensitivity of the neuroendocrine-reproductive axis to the antigonadotrophic influence of melatonin in Male syrian hamsters with experimentally altered cortisol rhythms

Bhaskar N. Joshi, Mary K. Vaughan, Frank Nürnberger, Russel J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Two different experimental models were used to test if a temporal relationship exists between the rhythm of adrenal steroid secretion and the vulnerability of the hamster reproductive system to short photoperiod exposure or to the daily afternoon injection of melatonin. In the first experiment adrenalectomized hamsters were implanted with a Cortisol pellet to provide a sustained, rather than rhythmic, level of the hormone. The animals were either placed in short photoperiod or given a daily afternoon melatonin injection. In both cases the gonads underwent atrophy. In the second experiment adrenalectomized hamsters were given a Cortisol injection either in the morning (approx. 8 hr before the subsequent afternoon injection of melatonin) or in the afternoon (approx. 1 hr before the subsequent melatonin injection). Measurements of testicular and accessory organ weights 7 weeks later indicated regression of the reproductive system in both the groups when compared with their appropriate controls. Depressed levels of plasma LH. PRL, testosterone and thyroxine (T4) in these animals confirmed the melatonin induced gonadal collapse. The results suggest that apparently there is no temporal correlation between the rhythm of secretion of the adrenal steroids and the responsiveness of the reproductive system to late afternoon injection of melatonin. Interestingly, all the adrenalectomized Cortisol injected control animals (not receiving melatonin) had depressed plasma LH and PRL while the testicular weights and plasma testosterone titers remain unaffected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalChronobiology international
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1985



  • Adrenalectomy
  • Antigonadotrophic influence
  • Cortisol rhythm
  • Diurnal sensitivity
  • Melatonin
  • Syrian hamster
  • Temporal phase relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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