Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary A method for superficial pinealectomy of the adult white-footed mouse,Peromyscus leucopus, is presented. Histological examination of the brain of pinealectomized mice showed that the deep pineal gland was left intact. The survival rate of pinealectomized mice was 80%. Pinealectomized mice were exposed to a short day photoperiod (8L:16D) at 15°C for 7 weeks. After this time male mice maintained active gonads with a testicular index (TI, testis width×length/body weight) of 2.0±0.1. Testis weight was 202±35 mg, and the seminiferous tubules contained abundant spermatozoa (spermatogenic index [SI]=4.5±0.2). Sham operated animals had regressed testes. TI was 1.2±0.2, testis weight was 97±26 mg, and the SI was 2.7±0.7 (allP〈0.05 relative to pinealectomized mice). Pinealectomized females were reproductively competent in that all of the mice had a perforate vagina, the reproductive tract weight (vagina, uterus, oviducts, and ovaries) was 111±15 mg, and the ovaries from each animal contained preovulatory follicles. Sham operated mice had an imperforate vagina, reproductive tract weights were 34±5 mg, and in only 1 out of 5 mice did the ovaries contain a preovulatory follicle (allP〈0.05). The weight of the lipid-free interscapular brown fat was 28% less in pinealectomized mice relative to sham operated animals (P〈0.01). These results support the role of the pineal gland as regulator of short day, cold induced reproductive regression and brown fat hypertrophy.
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