Temporal synergism of neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) affects testicular development in mice.Zoology (Jena). 2009; 112(6):461-70.Z
The temporal phase relation of circadian oscillations is reported to regulate reproduction in many seasonally breeding avian and mammalian species, but its role in the reproductive regulation of continuous breeders is not yet known. Hence in the present study, six experimental groups of 3-week-old male Parkes strain mice, Mus musculus, were injected with 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP, serotonin precursor) and L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA, dopamine precursor) at intervals of 0, 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 hr (5mg/100g body weight per day for 13 days). Control mice received two daily injections of normal saline. When observed 24 days post-treatment, 8-hr mice exhibited low body weight and suppression of gonadal activity (spermatogenesis, sperm count/motility/viability and plasma testosterone concentration), while body weight and degree of gonadal development were higher in the 12-hr mice as compared to the controls. It is concluded that normal somatic and gonadal growth of pre-puberal mice may be suppressed with an 8-hr phase relation of circadian serotonergic and dopaminergic oscillations. On the other hand, a 12-hr phase relation accelerated the rate of gonadal maturation, while other relations led to more or less similar gonadal development as in the control mice. This study suggests the importance of circadian organization as a function of specific temporal phase relations of neural oscillations in the maturation of gonads. Although the exact mechanism still needs to be investigated, this seems to be mediated via effects on the neuroendocrine axis.