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Biol Reprod. 1988 Apr;38(3):639-43.

Termination of gonadal refractoriness in Turkish hamsters, Mesocricetus brandti.

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Physiology Program, School of Life and Health Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark 19716.


The Turkish hamster (Mesocricetus brandti) is a photoperiodic species. In this investigation, we characterized the photoperiodic requirements for termination of gonadal refractoriness, defined as the inability of the animal to respond to short-day treatment with gonadal regression. Paired testes weights were reduced to less than 20% of their original weight by 10 wk of 12L:12D treatment. This was followed by spontaneous testicular recrudescence (completed by Week 25 of 12L:12D treatment), the overt indication of refractoriness to short photoperiods. Next, the period of long-day exposure sufficient for termination of refractoriness was determined. Refractory males were exposed to 16L:8D for 5 to 20 wk. Ten weeks of 16L:8D treatment was enough for the animals to regain the sensitivity to a second challenge of 12L:12D treatment. Fifteen weeks of 20L:4D or 16L:8D terminated refractoriness in female Turkish hamsters; 20L:4D therefore was not interpreted as a short day by refractory hamsters. This was unexpected because in photosensitive animals this photoperiod acts like a short day, causing gonadal regression. These results suggest that Turkish hamsters are similar to Syrian hamsters in that both species require two or more months of long days in summer to recover sensitivity to the short days of the following fall.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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