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J Neuroendocrinol. 1990 Oct 1;2(5):567-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.1990.tb00449.x.

Pituitary hormone gene expression in male golden hamsters: interactions between photoperiod and testosterone.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA.


Abstract Daylength regulates neuroendocrine function in male golden hamsters. Exposure to short days triggers gonadal regression and decreases serum luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin and testosterone concentrations. Inhibitory photoperiods also amplify the negative feedback actions of androgens upon gonadotropin secretion. To examine whether these changes arise from altered adenohypophyseal gene expression, we measured the abundance of the messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNAs) encoding beta-LH, prolactin and proopiomelanocortin in anterior pituitaries of male golden hamsters which were either left intact, castrated, castrated and implanted with testosterone, or pinealectomized and maintained in either long (14 h light/10 h dark) or short (5 h light/19 h dark) days. Short days caused testicular atrophy in intact male hamsters and reduced serum LH in intact and castrated, testosterone-replaced hamsters. The relative abundance of beta-LH mRNA was suppressed by exposure to short days only in castrated hamsters. Serum prolactin was decreased by short days regardless of circulating testosterone concentrations. Prolactin mRNA abundance was decreased by short days in all pineal-intact groups. Castration reduced proopiomelanocortin mRNA abundance in long days and testosterone replacement reversed this effect. In the presence of testosterone, photoperiod influenced serum LH concentrations without altering hypophyseal abundance of beta-LH mRNA. In contrast, photoperiodic influences on prolactin secretion were correlated with alterations in steady-state mRNA abundance.

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