Harderian Gland: Development and Influence of Early Hormonal Treatment on Porphyrin Content

Science  22 May 1970:
Vol. 168, Issue 3934, pp. 996-998
DOI: 10.1126/science.168.3934.996


The porphyrin content of the rat Harderian gland remains low until 12 days of age at which time both porphyrin content and concentration rapidly increase. Intraperitoneal administration of tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine) into newborn animals advances the appearance of porphyrin in the gland. Conversely, a single injection of cortisol acetate into newborns retards the appearance of porphyrin. The time of porphyrin appearance in the gland parallels the time for maturation of the evoked cortical response to visual stimulation in normal and hormone-treated animals.