Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 in Syrian Hamsters: Interactions of Photoperiod, Gonadal Steroids, Pinealectomy, and Continuous Melatonin Treatment

M. K. Vaughan, G. R. Buzzell, R. A. Hoffman, A. Menendez-Pelaez, R. J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Four experiments in Syrian hamsters examined the role and possible interaction of photoperiod, gonadal steroids, and the pineal on circulating levels of insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1). In the first experiment, female hamsters were exposed to long photoperiod (LP; 14:10 LD) or short photoperiod (SP; 8:16 LD); an additional group of SP-exposed females was pinealectomized (PX). SP induced a significant depression in IGF-1 concentrations which PX partially prevented. In Experiment 2, two groups (control and castrate [CX]) of adult male hamsters were kept in LP, and three groups (intact, CX, and CX + PX) of hamsters were kept in SP for five weeks. The four groups of animals that were CX and/or maintained in SP had approximately the same mean level of IGF-1, and all four groups were significantly (P < 0.001) higher than the LP-control hamsters. In Experiment 3, four groups (intact controls, CX, CX + melatonin pellet [MEL PEL], and MEL PEL only) were kept in LP. Melatonin pellets (1 mg melatonin/24 mg beeswax/every two weeks) were implanted sc twice during the experiment. Castration induced a rise (P < 0.001) in IGF-1 levels, and this was not prevented by MEL PEL. In Experiment 4, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone pellets implanted in LP-exposed CX males prevented the CX-induced rise in IGF-1; testosterone implants also reduced IGF-1 levels in CX males treated with progesterone. In conclusion, SP treatment depresses IGF-1 in female hamsters and raises it in males. These results substantiate previous studies in other models of gonadal steroid deficient animals. They lend further credence to the hypothesis that there is a sexual dimorphism in circulating IGF-1 concentrations in the Syrian hamster that may be at least partially related to the presence of gonadal steroids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-331
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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