Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Several procedures known to influence pineal gland secretion were studied for their effects on the ventral prostate of rats. Stereological measurements were made of volume fractions of acini and glandular epithelium, surface fractions of glandular epithelium, and length fractions of acini. From these figures and the weights of the glands, the volumes, surface areas, and lengths of these features were calculated, as well as the mean epithelial heights, mean acinar diameters, and mean distances between glandular acini. None of these measurements differed in sham-operated controls, pinealectomized, or blinded rats. In blind-anosmic rats, however, there were significant decreases in the weights of the prostates and the volumes of the acini, reflecting significant decreases in the mean diameters of acini. None of the other parameters differed from those of controls, except the length fraction of acini. These results differ from those described by others following castration in rats, indicating that the action of the pineal gland on the ventral prostate may be different from that of androgen deprivation, in this species. Caution should therefore be exercised in the interpretation of the results of experiments in which prostate weights are used as indications of the actions of pineal hormones on the neuroendocrine-gonadal axis.
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