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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1988 Mar;187(3):287-91.

Sexual dimorphism in N-acetyltransferase activity, hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activity, and melatonin content in the Harderian gland of Syrian hamsters: changes following gonadectomy.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284-7762.


The activities of N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) and the melatonin content of the Harderian glands of intact and gonadectomized male and female Syrian hamsters were studied. NAT activity in intact male Harderian glands was twice that of the female. Prepubertal or adult castrated males exhibited a decrease in NAT activity to a level comparable to that seen in the female. Testosterone implants in the castrated males led to a recovery of the original male NAT levels. Intact male hamsters had very low levels of Harderian HIOMT activity and melatonin content in comparison with the glands of the females. Prepubertal gonadectomy but not castration of adult males raised the levels of HIOMT activity and the melatonin content to those of the females. Bilateral ovariectomy had no effect on melatonin content, NAT activity, or HIOMT activity in the female hamster Harderian gland.

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