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Abstract

To determine the role of the pineal gland and its secretory product melatonin on various aspects of the functioning of the organism, the gland can be easily surgically removed in rats within 18 hours a fter birth. We performed pinealectomy in rats in a state of deep hypothermia under an operating microscope, using a micro-suction device of our own construction. The rats were induced into a state of suspended animation by placing them in the freezing compartment at minus 20 Celsius degrees. The cessation of respiration and heart beat lasted for about 15 minutes. During that time the pinealectomy was performed. In some cases there was minor hemorrhage that was easily controlled. There were no major side effects or mortality following surgery. All rats recovered within 15 minutes after the end of the procedure. The pinealectomy procedure described in this study is simple, rapid, effective and safe, and can be easily performed with instruments commonly available in most laboratories.
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