Send to

Choose Destination
J Steroid Biochem. 1987;27(4-6):1089-93.

Effect of neonatal melatonin administration on sexual development in the rat.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University Complutensis, Madrid, Spain.


In order to study the mechanisms by which melatonin modulates sexual development, 5-day-old female Wistar rats have been treated with a single s.c. injection of melatonin, 3 h before the darkness onset. Criteria for sexual development were the age of vaginal opening and the circulating levels of prolactin, LH, FSH and estradiol. Also, pineal melatonin content was measured. There was a precocious puberty (P less than 0.01) in melatonin-treated rats measured by the age of the vaginal opening. An increase in the number of estrous smears over the whole period studied was observed in melatonin-treated animals as compared to controls. Along with these modifications, there was decrease in pineal melatonin content and serum prolactin levels, on day 21 of life (P less than 0.05), with an increase in both parameters on day 30 of age, in melatonin-treated rats as compared to controls, with no modifications at any other time studied. No differences were detected for serum LH levels considering the whole period studied for both groups. There was a faster decrease in plasma FSH levels with age in melatonin-treated animals than in controls. Serum estradiol levels were decreased in the peripubertal period in melatonin-treated rats as compared to controls. All these data suggest that the modifications induced by neonatal melatonin administration on prolactin, FSH and estradiol could be responsible for the precocious puberty shown in this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center