The onset of cessation of oestrous cyclicity and associated organ and hormonal changes were compared in random-bred (RB) and inbred (IB) female Syrian hamsters kept either under short days (8 h light: 16 h darkness; 8L:16D) or long days (14L:10D) and given daily afternoon injections of 25 μg melatonin. In response to short-day treatment, 100% of the IB hamstes exhibited vaginal acyclicity within 35 days; by comparison, none of the RB animals were acyclic at this time. The IB hamsters also exhibited other changes associated with exposure to short days, including increased body weight, enlarged ovaries, regressed uteri, elevated pituitary concentrations of FSH, and depressed pituitary and plasma concentrations of prolactin. At this time, only the pituitary FSH levels were increased in the RB animals kept under the same short-day conditions. In a second experiment, RB and IB female Syrian hamsters were maintained under long days (14L:10D) and the rate of reproductive regression in response to daily afternoon injections of melatonin was compared. After 8 weeks of melatonin injections, 80% of the IB females were anoestrous, while all RB hamsters were still exhibiting 4-day oestrous cycles. Other changes associated with melatonin administration in the IB females included a marked drop in uterine weight and a depression in pituitary and plasma prolactin levels. The RB hamsters, although they were all still cyclic after 8 weeks, had increased body and ovarian weights, increased pituitary concentrations of FSH, and lower pituitary and plasma prolactin levels. The results show that the IB strain of Syrian hamster, compared with the RB strain, responded more quickly with vaginal acyclicity to both exposure to short days and daily injections of melatonin. On the other hand, the IB hamsters responded more slowly in terms of oestrous acyclicity to melatonin injections than to treatment with short photoperiod.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism