The length of day, or photoperiod, regulates the annual cycle of reproductive activity in the golden hamster. The inhibitory effects of a short-day photoperiod on testicular function were prevented by nighttime, but not daytime, intraventricular injections of carbachol, a cholinergic agonist. Short pulses of light during the night also block short-day induced testicular regression. The findings suggest that acetylcholine may play an important role in the mechanism through which information about the light-dark environment is transferred to the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
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