Dietary restriction in the rat has been shown to affect the oestrous cycle, increasing the length of the di-oestrous period and producing a reduction in the cellular content of the vaginal smear (Mulinos & Pomerantz, 1940). Cooper & Haynes (1967) demonstrated that the introduction of a male to the cage of a female rat subjected to dietary restriction resulted in a shortening of the cycle regardless of the stage at which the male was introduced. In those animals which failed to mate at the first oestrus after introduction of the male (detected by the vaginal smear technique), the subsequent cycle again appeared to be of shorter duration than those before the introduction of the male, indicating that the female continued to respond to the presence of the male. The present
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