Melatonin: antigonadal and progonadal effects in male golden hamsters

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Science  17 Oct 1975:
Vol. 190, Issue 4211, pp. 280-282
DOI: 10.1126/science.1179207


Melatonin induced marked testicular regression in hamsters maintained on photostimulatory long days (light-dark 14 : 10). In animals maintained on nonstimulatory short days (light-dark 6 : 18), small amounts of melatonin (50 micrograms per day; 100 millimeters capsule length) prevented testicular regression; but testicular atrophy occurred in hamsters that received larger amounts of melatonin (75 to 100 micrograms per day; 150 to 200 millimeters capsule length) and in control hamsters that received none. The results demonstrate that melatonin can exert either pro- or antigonadal effects and emphasize that the effects of melatonin on the testis cannot be properly assessed unless account is taken of the dosage and mode of melatonin administration and the photoperiod on which experimental animals are maintained.