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The influence of activation, removal or denervation of the pineal on the fine structure of the Leydig cell and seminal vesicle epithelium in golden hamsters

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Fine structural changes of testicular interstitial cells of Leydig and secretory cells of seminal vesicles were studied in golden hamsters under different functional states of the pineal gland. Experiments were performed in the reproductive season (summer months). In the hamsters blinded for 8 weeks the testes and the seminal vesicles were markedly atrophic, and the Leydig cells and the secretory cells of seminal vesicles were extremely involuted. By contrast, both types of cells in the pinealectomized or superior cervical ganglionectomized hamsters exhibited cytological features suggestive of an enhanced secretory activity. This study shows that functional activity of Leydig cells as well as secretory cells of seminal vesicles in the hamster may be depressed or augmented by stimulating or inhibiting the pineal antigonadal function, respectively, without performing hypophysectomy or hormonal administration.

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Correspondence to Dr. Huai-San Lin.

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Dedicated to Professor Shu Yeh on the occasion of his 70th birthday. This study was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Council, the Republic of China

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Lin, H., Wing, T. The influence of activation, removal or denervation of the pineal on the fine structure of the Leydig cell and seminal vesicle epithelium in golden hamsters. Cell Tissue Res. 191, 367–378 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00219802

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Key words

  • Leydig cells
  • Seminal vesicle
  • Pineal gland
  • Golden hamster
  • Ultrastructure