Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Puberty: A period in the human life in which the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal system takes place and reaches full maturity. The onset of synchronized endocrine events in puberty lead to the capacity for reproduction (FERTILITY), development of secondary SEX CHARACTERISTICS, and other changes seen in ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT.Vitellogenesis: The active production and accumulation of VITELLINS (egg yolk proteins) in the non-mammalian OOCYTES from circulating precursors, VITELLOGENINS. Vitellogenesis usually begins after the first MEIOSIS and is regulated by estrogenic hormones.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Puberty, Delayed: The lack of development of SEXUAL MATURATION in boys and girls at a chronological age that is 2.5 standard deviations above the mean age at onset of PUBERTY in a population. Delayed puberty can be classified by defects in the hypothalamic LHRH pulse generator, the PITUITARY GLAND, or the GONADS. These patients will undergo spontaneous but delayed puberty whereas patients with SEXUAL INFANTILISM will not.AnguillaReproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)Luteinizing Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Luteinizing hormone regulates steroid production by the interstitial cells of the TESTIS and the OVARY. The preovulatory LUTEINIZING HORMONE surge in females induces OVULATION, and subsequent LUTEINIZATION of the follicle. LUTEINIZING HORMONE consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.5-Methoxytryptamine: Serotonin derivative proposed as potentiator for hypnotics and sedatives.Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone: A decapeptide that stimulates the synthesis and secretion of both pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. GnRH is produced by neurons in the septum PREOPTIC AREA of the HYPOTHALAMUS and released into the pituitary portal blood, leading to stimulation of GONADOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Sexual Development: The processes of anatomical and physiological changes related to sexual or reproductive functions during the life span of a human or an animal, from FERTILIZATION to DEATH. These include SEX DETERMINATION PROCESSES; SEX DIFFERENTIATION; SEXUAL MATURATION; and changes during AGING.Sex Attractants: Pheromones that elicit sexual attraction or mating behavior usually in members of the opposite sex in the same species.Fertility Agents: Drugs used to increase fertility or to treat infertility.Genitalia, Male: The male reproductive organs. They are divided into the external organs (PENIS; SCROTUM;and URETHRA) and the internal organs (TESTIS; EPIDIDYMIS; VAS DEFERENS; SEMINAL VESICLES; EJACULATORY DUCTS; PROSTATE; and BULBOURETHRAL GLANDS).Arvicolinae: A subfamily of MURIDAE found nearly world-wide and consisting of about 20 genera. Voles, lemmings, and muskrats are members.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Group IB Phospholipases A2: A subclass of group I phospholipases A2 that includes enzymes isolated from PANCREATIC JUICE. Members of this group have specificity for PHOSPHOLIPASE A2 RECEPTORS.Menarche: The first MENSTRUAL CYCLE marked by the initiation of MENSTRUATION.Gonadotropins: Hormones that stimulate gonadal functions such as GAMETOGENESIS and sex steroid hormone production in the OVARY and the TESTIS. Major gonadotropins are glycoproteins produced primarily by the adenohypophysis (GONADOTROPINS, PITUITARY) and the placenta (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN). In some species, pituitary PROLACTIN and PLACENTAL LACTOGEN exert some luteotropic activities.Kisspeptins: Intercellular signaling peptides that were originally characterized by their ability to suppress NEOPLASM METASTASIS. Kisspeptins have since been found to play an important role in the neuroendocrine regulation of REPRODUCTION.Mirex: An organochlorine insecticide that is carcinogenic.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Pituitary Gland: A small, unpaired gland situated in the SELLA TURCICA. It is connected to the HYPOTHALAMUS by a short stalk which is called the INFUNDIBULUM.Gonadotropins, Pituitary: Hormones secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR) that stimulate gonadal functions in both males and females. They include FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE that stimulates germ cell maturation (OOGENESIS; SPERMATOGENESIS), and LUTEINIZING HORMONE that stimulates the production of sex steroids (ESTROGENS; PROGESTERONE; ANDROGENS).Ovary: The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.Follicle Stimulating Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Age Determination by Skeleton: Establishment of the age of an individual by examination of their skeletal structure.Sexual Behavior, Animal: Sexual activities of animals.Phodopus: A genus of hamsters characterized by small size, very short tail, and short, broad feet with hairy soles.Melatonin: A biogenic amine that is found in animals and plants. In mammals, melatonin is produced by the PINEAL GLAND. Its secretion increases in darkness and decreases during exposure to light. Melatonin is implicated in the regulation of SLEEP, mood, and REPRODUCTION. Melatonin is also an effective antioxidant.Estradiol: The 17-beta-isomer of estradiol, an aromatized C18 steroid with hydroxyl group at 3-beta- and 17-beta-position. Estradiol-17-beta is the most potent form of mammalian estrogenic steroids.Photoperiod: The time period of daily exposure that an organism receives from daylight or artificial light. It is believed that photoperiodic responses may affect the control of energy balance and thermoregulation.Cyprinodontiformes: An order of fish with eight families and numerous species of both egg-laying and livebearing fish. Families include Cyprinodontidae (egg-laying KILLIFISHES;), FUNDULIDAEl; (topminnows), Goodeidae (Mexican livebearers), Jenynsiidae (jenynsiids), Poeciliidae (livebearers), Profundulidae (Middle American killifishes), Aplocheilidae, and Rivulidae (rivulines). In the family Poeciliidae, the guppy and molly belong to the genus POECILIA.Gonads: The gamete-producing glands, OVARY or TESTIS.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.Gonadal Steroid Hormones: Steroid hormones produced by the GONADS. They stimulate reproductive organs, germ cell maturation, and the secondary sex characteristics in the males and the females. The major sex steroid hormones include ESTRADIOL; PROGESTERONE; and TESTOSTERONE.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Vitellogenins: Phospholipoglycoproteins produced in the fat body of egg-laying animals such as non-mammalian VERTEBRATES; ARTHROPODS; and others. Vitellogenins are secreted into the HEMOLYMPH, and taken into the OOCYTES by receptor-mediated ENDOCYTOSIS to form the major yolk proteins, VITELLINS. Vitellogenin production is under the regulation of steroid hormones, such as ESTRADIOL and JUVENILE HORMONES in insects.Growth: Gradual increase in the number, the size, and the complexity of cells of an individual. Growth generally results in increase in ORGAN WEIGHT; BODY WEIGHT; and BODY HEIGHT.Periodicity: The tendency of a phenomenon to recur at regular intervals; in biological systems, the recurrence of certain activities (including hormonal, cellular, neural) may be annual, seasonal, monthly, daily, or more frequently (ultradian).Seminiferous Tubules: The convoluted tubules in the TESTIS where sperm are produced (SPERMATOGENESIS) and conveyed to the RETE TESTIS. Spermatogenic tubules are composed of developing germ cells and the supporting SERTOLI CELLS.Sperm Maturation: The maturing process of SPERMATOZOA after leaving the testicular SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. Maturation in SPERM MOTILITY and FERTILITY takes place in the EPIDIDYMIS as the sperm migrate from caput epididymis to cauda epididymis.Leydig Cells: Steroid-producing cells in the interstitial tissue of the TESTIS. They are under the regulation of PITUITARY HORMONES; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; or interstitial cell-stimulating hormone. TESTOSTERONE is the major androgen (ANDROGENS) produced.Seasons: Divisions of the year according to some regularly recurrent phenomena usually astronomical or climatic. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Glycoprotein Hormones, alpha Subunit: The alpha chain of pituitary glycoprotein hormones (THYROTROPIN; FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE; LUTEINIZING HORMONE) and the placental CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN. Within a species, the alpha subunits of these four hormones are identical; the distinct functional characteristics of these glycoprotein hormones are determined by the unique beta subunits. Both subunits, the non-covalently bound heterodimers, are required for full biologic activity.Pineal Gland: A light-sensitive neuroendocrine organ attached to the roof of the THIRD VENTRICLE of the brain. The pineal gland secretes MELATONIN, other BIOGENIC AMINES and NEUROPEPTIDES.Pheromones: Chemical substances, excreted by an organism into the environment, that elicit behavioral or physiological responses from other organisms of the same species. Perception of these chemical signals may be olfactory or by contact.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Seminal Vesicles: A saclike, glandular diverticulum on each ductus deferens in male vertebrates. It is united with the excretory duct and serves for temporary storage of semen. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Inhibins: Glycoproteins that inhibit pituitary FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretion. Inhibins are secreted by the Sertoli cells of the testes, the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles, the placenta, and other tissues. Inhibins and ACTIVINS are modulators of FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretions; both groups belong to the TGF-beta superfamily, as the TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA. Inhibins consist of a disulfide-linked heterodimer with a unique alpha linked to either a beta A or a beta B subunit to form inhibin A or inhibin B, respectivelyRNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Salmo salar: A commercially important species of SALMON in the family SALMONIDAE, order SALMONIFORMES, which occurs in the North Atlantic.Oocytes: Female germ cells derived from OOGONIA and termed OOCYTES when they enter MEIOSIS. The primary oocytes begin meiosis but are arrested at the diplotene state until OVULATION at PUBERTY to give rise to haploid secondary oocytes or ova (OVUM).Hypogonadism: Condition resulting from deficient gonadal functions, such as GAMETOGENESIS and the production of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES. It is characterized by delay in GROWTH, germ cell maturation, and development of secondary sex characteristics. Hypogonadism can be due to a deficiency of GONADOTROPINS (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism) or due to primary gonadal failure (hypergonadotropic hypogonadism).Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Receptors, LHRH: Receptors with a 6-kDa protein on the surfaces of cells that secrete LUTEINIZING HORMONE or FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE, usually in the adenohypophysis. LUTEINIZING HORMONE-RELEASING HORMONE binds to these receptors, is endocytosed with the receptor and, in the cell, triggers the release of LUTEINIZING HORMONE or FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE by the cell. These receptors are also found in rat gonads. INHIBINS prevent the binding of GnRH to its receptors.Sex Characteristics: Those characteristics that distinguish one SEX from the other. The primary sex characteristics are the OVARIES and TESTES and their related hormones. Secondary sex characteristics are those which are masculine or feminine but not directly related to reproduction.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Prolactin: A lactogenic hormone secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). It is a polypeptide of approximately 23 kD. Besides its major action on lactation, in some species prolactin exerts effects on reproduction, maternal behavior, fat metabolism, immunomodulation and osmoregulation. Prolactin receptors are present in the mammary gland, hypothalamus, liver, ovary, testis, and prostate.Animal Migration: Periodic movements of animals in response to seasonal changes or reproductive instinct. Hormonal changes are the trigger in at least some animals. Most migrations are made for reasons of climatic change, feeding, or breeding.Orchiectomy: The surgical removal of one or both testicles.Light: That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared range.Castration: Surgical removal or artificial destruction of gonads.Body Constitution: The physical characteristics of the body, including the mode of performance of functions, the activity of metabolic processes, the manner and degree of reactions to stimuli, and power of resistance to the attack of pathogenic organisms.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Urine: Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the URETHRA.Oogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the female from the primordial germ cells through OOGONIA to the mature haploid ova (OVUM).Body Height: The distance from the sole to the crown of the head with body standing on a flat surface and fully extended.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Chickens: Common name for the species Gallus gallus, the domestic fowl, in the family Phasianidae, order GALLIFORMES. It is descended from the red jungle fowl of SOUTHEAST ASIA.Hypothalamus: Ventral part of the DIENCEPHALON extending from the region of the OPTIC CHIASM to the caudal border of the MAMMILLARY BODIES and forming the inferior and lateral walls of the THIRD VENTRICLE.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Leptin: A 16-kDa peptide hormone secreted from WHITE ADIPOCYTES. Leptin serves as a feedback signal from fat cells to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM in regulation of food intake, energy balance, and fat storage.Uterus: The hollow thick-walled muscular organ in the female PELVIS. It consists of the fundus (the body) which is the site of EMBRYO IMPLANTATION and FETAL DEVELOPMENT. Beyond the isthmus at the perineal end of fundus, is CERVIX UTERI (the neck) opening into VAGINA. Beyond the isthmi at the upper abdominal end of fundus, are the FALLOPIAN TUBES.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Dendritic Cells: Specialized cells of the hematopoietic system that have branch-like extensions. They are found throughout the lymphatic system, and in non-lymphoid tissues such as SKIN and the epithelia of the intestinal, respiratory, and reproductive tracts. They trap and process ANTIGENS, and present them to T-CELLS, thereby stimulating CELL-MEDIATED IMMUNITY. They are different from the non-hematopoietic FOLLICULAR DENDRITIC CELLS, which have a similar morphology and immune system function, but with respect to humoral immunity (ANTIBODY PRODUCTION).Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Anthropometry: The technique that deals with the measurement of the size, weight, and proportions of the human or other primate body.Meiosis: A type of CELL NUCLEUS division, occurring during maturation of the GERM CELLS. Two successive cell nucleus divisions following a single chromosome duplication (S PHASE) result in daughter cells with half the number of CHROMOSOMES as the parent cells.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Radioimmunoassay: Classic quantitative assay for detection of antigen-antibody reactions using a radioactively labeled substance (radioligand) either directly or indirectly to measure the binding of the unlabeled substance to a specific antibody or other receptor system. Non-immunogenic substances (e.g., haptens) can be measured if coupled to larger carrier proteins (e.g., bovine gamma-globulin or human serum albumin) capable of inducing antibody formation.Proteins: Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Sex Factors: Maleness or femaleness as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from SEX CHARACTERISTICS, anatomical or physiological manifestations of sex, and from SEX DISTRIBUTION, the number of males and females in given circumstances.In Vitro Oocyte Maturation Techniques: Methods used to induce premature oocytes, that are maintained in tissue culture, to progress through developmental stages including to a stage that is competent to undergo FERTILIZATION.Body Mass Index: An indicator of body density as determined by the relationship of BODY WEIGHT to BODY HEIGHT. BMI=weight (kg)/height squared (m2). BMI correlates with body fat (ADIPOSE TISSUE). Their relationship varies with age and gender. For adults, BMI falls into these categories: below 18.5 (underweight); 18.5-24.9 (normal); 25.0-29.9 (overweight); 30.0 and above (obese). (National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)