Influence of melatonin on the testicular regression induced by subcutaneous testosterone pellets in male rats kept in long or short photoperiod

M. K. Vaughan, S. Oaknin, B. Cozzi, K. Li, R. J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Daily afternoon injections of 25 μg melatonin for 12 weeks had no effect on testicular weights of male rats kept in long photoperiod (14L:10D); similarly, exposure of rats to short photoperiod (2L:22D) had no effect on gonadal weight. However, rats maintained in a long or short photoperiod and implanted every 2 weeks with a 15 mm Silastic pellet containing testosterone showed a significant reduction in testicular weight; this effect was more pronounced in rats exposed to a short photoperiod. Melatonin injections in testosterone-treated rats in a long photoperiod exacerbated the inhibitory effects of testosterone alone. Subcutaneous 2-weekly implants of a beeswax pellet containing 1 mg melatonin reversed the effects of the melatonin injections on relative testicular weight but not those due to short photoperiod exposure. Testosterone implants significantly reduced pituitary LH values in long and short photoperiod-exposed animals, more particularly in those exposed to short photoperiod. Melatonin injections alone or in combination with melatonin pellets did not further exaggerate the depression in pituitary LH due to testosterone alone in long photoperiod-exposed animals; similarly melatonin pellets did not reverse the depression in pituitary LH observed. No significant differences in plasma prolactin concentrations or in thyroxine concentrations or free thyroxine index were observed after any combination of treatments. We therefore suggest that the effects observed with short photoperiod may be due to melatonin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of reproduction and fertility
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology

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