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Inhibin secretion in the golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) testis during active and inactive states of spermatogenesis induced by the restriction of photoperiod



Inhibin secretion in the golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) testis during active and inactive states of spermatogenesis induced by the restriction of photoperiod



Journal of Reproduction and Development 49(1): 87-97



Gonadal function in the male golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) was investigated during exposure to a short photoperiod condition. Within 3 weeks of exposure to the short photoperiod condition, FSH and testosterone in the plasma significantly decreased, and subsequently immunoreactive (ir)-inhibin significantly decreased. Testicular contents of ir-inhibin and testosterone, and pituitary contents of LH and FSH also significantly decreased by 3 weeks with regression of weight of testes, epididymis and seminal vesicles and sperm head count. Circulating LH varied but not significantly. Thereafter, all reproductive parameters and secretion of LH, FSH, ir-inhibin and testosterone gradually recovered after 17 weeks of exposure even though animals continued to be subjected to the short photoperiod condition. Plasma concentrations of inhibin B and inhibin pro-alphaC were detectable and were significantly decreased after 15 weeks of exposure to the short photoperiod, but their levels were still detectable. Immunopositive reaction of inhibin alpha and betaB subunits was found in Sertoli cells and Leydig cells in the regressed testes of animals subjected to short photoperiod as was also seen in animals before exposure to the short photoperiod. Although the spermatogenic cycle was suppressed like prepubertal animals, the present study showed that the testicular recovery, so-called refractoriness, is functionally different from the developing stage of immature animals, especially with regard to inhibin secretion. The present results showed that changes in FSH preceded changes in inhibin during the regression and recovery phases, indicating that FSH is a major regulatory factor of inhibin secretion in male golden hamsters. The present study also demonstrated that regressed testes still secrete a small amount of bioactive inhibin during exposure to a short-photoperiod condition.

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Accession: 049357088

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PMID: 14967953


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