Summary. Adult male wild rabbits were exposed to at least 16 weeks of 16L:8D before experiments began. Plasma LH and FSH concentrations increased significantly (P < 0·001) when rabbits were castrated in 16L:8D but declined when rabbits were transferred to 8L:16D. Concentrations had returned to normal for castrated rabbits in 16L:8D by 74 days after the start of the 8L:16D treatment. Treatment of intact male rabbits with an injection of LHRH before and after transfer to short daylengths caused a transient increase in plasma LH which lasted 50–80 min and this produced a concomitant rise in plasma testosterone. The daylength change had no effect on this response even though testicular size declined after the transfer to short daylengths. Rabbits moulted in response to exposure to 8L:16D. This suggests that hypothalamic activity responds to photoperiod and that changes in pituitary responsiveness to LHRH and steroid negative feedback are unimportant.
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