P>The effects of pinealectomy and leptin hormone on proliferative and apoptotic processes in the epithelia of testicular seminiferous tubules of Syrian hamsters have been investigated. Proliferative and apoptotic processes were assessed semi-quantitatively by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and caspase-3 immune stainings. Animals used in the study were divided into four groups; control, pinealectomy (PinX), leptin-treated (10 mu g/mL/day/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) and pinealectomy + leptin groups. Half of the hamsters in each group were exposed to short and the other half to long photoperiods for 8 weeks. In short photoperiod, PCNA activity especially in spermatogonia was significantly higher in the pinealectomy and leptin-treated groups compared with the control group. Histological score (HSCORE) value of PCNA in the PinX + leptin group was lower than those of PinX and leptin-treated groups. HSCORE value of caspase-3 in PinX and PinX + leptin groups was increased. In the long photoperiod, PCNA activation in the PinX group was significantly lower than the control group while the differences between the controls and other groups were not significant. The difference between the increases in caspase-3 activity in the PinX and control groups was significant. Thus, it was observed that photoperiods had no effect on the proliferation activity in the control groups. The inhibiting effect of short photoperiod on testis was not observed throughout 8 weeks. PinX eliminated the inhibiting effect of short photoperiod but did not alter the stimulating effect of long photoperiod. Leptin did not show any effect in long photoperiod but decreased proliferation by stimulating melatonin in short photoperiod.