Role of the pineal gland in male rats chronically exposed to increased temperature

E. Magal, J. Kaplanski, U. A. Sod-Moriah, N. Hirschmann, I. Nir

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19 Scopus citations


The effects of the pineal gland on endocrine function (especially those of the gonads) were investigated in male rats chronically exposed to increased temperature. Weanling male rats were either pinealectomized (Px) or sham-operated (Sh). Following one week of recovery, animals were assigned to either control temperature of 21±1°C (PxC and ShC) or a temperature of 35±1°C (PxH and ShH). The animals were kept at their respective temperature for at least 30 days. In both groups (PxH and ShH) exposure to increased temperature resulted in a significant reduction in body and hypophysial weights, and in serum LH and testosterone levels as compared with the respective controls (PxC and ShC). Rectal temperature and serum corticosterone were also significantly increased. No changes were found in pineal hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activity of shamoperated rats kept in increased temperature (ShH vs. ShC). Pinealectomy alone (PxC vs. ShC) did not alter any of the measured parameters, except for increased pituitary LH content. Increased temperature plus pinealectomy (PxH vs. PxC; and PxH vs. ShH) caused a significant reduction in pituitary LH content and further accentuated (PxH vs. ShH) the diminished serum LH and testosterone levels evoked by exposure to high temperature. The results suggest that in male rats the pineal gland may play a role in moderating the changes in the reproductive processes that are induced by increased temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1981


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