Influence of the Thyroid Gland on the Onset of Puberty in the Female Rat
Estes, Kerry S.
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In view of evidence indicating a correlation between thyroidal activity and maturation in mammals, a series of experiments was designed to investigate the relation of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) on the onset of puberty in female rats. Five experiments measuring circulating levels of T3 and T4 throughout the pubertal period and studying the age of sexual maturation as a result of prepubertal hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism were conducted. The results indicated delayed sexual development as a result of increased levels of T3 and T4 and premature puberty as a result of thyroidectomy. The mechanisms by which the thyroid functions in controlling puberty remain unclear, calling for further investigation.