DETERMINATION OF A DARK-INDUCED INCREASE OF PINEAL N-ACETYL TRANSFERASE ACTIVITY AND SIMULTANEOUS RADIOIMMUNOASSAY OF MELATONIN IN PINEAL, SERUM AND PITUITARY TISSUE OF THE MALE RAT

in Journal of Endocrinology
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Departments of †Pediatrics and Genetics, and *Physiology, University of Geneva, Faculty of Medicine, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland

(Received 1 September 1976)

The pineal gland has received much attention because of the controversial role of melatonin in reproduction (Minneman & Wurtman, 1976) and also because of its use in the study of β-receptors (Axelrod, 1974). In rat and man, there is a diurnal fluctuation in the activity of N-acetyl transferase (NAT) the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of melatonin. Darkness induces a 15- to 70-fold rise in rat pineal NAT (Klein & Weller, 1970). The application of melatonin radioimmunoassay to the study of pineal function has allowed meaningful results to be obtained on the factors controlling melatonin production (Arendt, Paunier & Sizonenko, 1975; Ozaki, Lynch & Wurtman, 1976; Pang, Brown, Grota & Rodman, 1976; Rollag & Niswender, 1976). We have described studies in which we measured dark-induced NAT and melatonin content

 

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