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  • Author: Tarja Porkka-Heiskanen x
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Maija-Liisa Laakso, Tarja Porkka-Heiskanen, Aino Alila, Susanna Kajander, Dag Stenberg and Gunnar Johansson

Abstract. The 24-h patterns of melatonin, PRL, and gonadotropins in male rats maintained under natural lighting conditions have been found to differ from the patterns in rats kept under artificial lighting. In the present experiments we studied the role of different daily illuminances as a possible causative factor for the variation of the hormonal patterns. Three groups of male rats were kept under artificial lighting conditions (12 h on/12 h off), where the daily illuminance was 550, 110 or 25 lux. After a 7-day adaptation period the pineal content of melatonin, the serum levels of LH, FSH and PRL, and the pituitary content of these hormones were measured by RIAs in samples taken at 10.00, 13.00, 22.00 and 01.00 h. The patterns of pineal melatonin were equal in all three groups. The variation of daily illuminance did not change the serum levels of LH, FSH and PRL or the pituitary content of the gonadotropins. However, the pituitary content of PRL during the light phase was inversely related to the illuminance. The results suggest that the intensity of daily lighting in the studied range does not affect the patterns of melatonin or gonadotropins, but the synthesis of prolactin may be significantly regulated by the daily illuminance level.