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Arch Oral Biol. 1998 Nov;43(11):861-71.

Comparative effects of neonatal and prepubertal castration on craniofacial growth in rats.

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  • 1School of Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics, University Hospital St. Rafaël, Leuven, Belgium.


The role of endogenous testosterone in the craniofacial growth of the young male rat was investigated. First, the effect of neonatal surgical castration was examined in a randomized, cross-sectional study in which male Wistar rats were allocated to be either castrated or sham-operated 4 h after birth. Then, the effect of prepubertal chemical castration was analysed in a second, randomized longitudinal study in which male Wistar rats were randomly allocated either to a control group or to two experimental groups, one injected with triptorelin at day 25 and the other injected on day 25 and on day 45. Every tenth day between 20 and 70 days of age for the first study, and between 30 and 110 days of age for the second, body length and weight were measured, cephalometric X-rays taken, and blood samples obtained. Neonatal and prepubertal castration resulted in decreased plasma concentrations of testosterone and in delayed growth of somatic and craniofacial components. The initiation, duration and magnitude of the effect was dependent on individual bones (cranial base, skull roof) and on the lower incisor, and related to the testosterone concentrations. These results suggest that testosterone effects participate in the process of normal craniofacial growth, particularly during puberty.

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