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The pineal gland, but not melatonin, is associated with the termination of seasonal testicular activity in an annual reproductive cycle in roseringed parakeet Psittacula krameri



The pineal gland, but not melatonin, is associated with the termination of seasonal testicular activity in an annual reproductive cycle in roseringed parakeet Psittacula krameri



Chronobiology International 23(5): 915-933



The role of the pineal gland and its hormone melatonin in the regulation of annual testicular events was investigated for the first time in a psittacine bird, the roseringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). Accordingly, the testicular responsiveness of the birds was evaluated following surgical pinealectomy with or without the exogenous administration of melatonin and the experimental manipulations of the endogenous levels of melatonin through exposing the birds to continuous illumination. An identical schedule was followed during the four reproductive phases, each characterizing a distinct testicular status in the annual cycle, namely, the phases of gametogenic quiescence (preparatory phase), seasonal recovery of gametogenesis (progressive phase), seasonal initiation of sperm formation (pre-breeding phase), and peak gametogenic activity (breeding phase). In each reproductive phase, the birds were subjected to various experimental conditions, and the effects were studied comparing the testicular conditions in the respective control birds. The study included germ cell profiles of the seminiferous tubules, the activities of steroidogenic enzymes 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17beta-HSD), and Delta(5)3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (Delta(5)3beta- HSD) in the testis, and the serum levels of testosterone and melatonin. An analysis of the data reveals that the pineal gland and its hormone melatonin may play an inhibitory role in the development of the testis until the attainment of the seasonal peak in the annual reproductive cycle. However, in all probability, the termination of the seasonal activity of the testis or the initiation of testicular regression in the annual reproductive cycle appears to be the function of the pineal gland, but not of melatonin.

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Accession: 012670974

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17050209

DOI: 10.1080/07420520600921062


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