Persistence of Circadian Rhythms of Melatonin and N-Acetylserotonin in the Serum of Rats after Pinealectomy
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To study the effect of pinealectomy (Px) on the rhythms of serum indoles, male rats were adapted to 12L:12D for 2 weeks after which half of them were Px. The animals were decapitated at 4-hour intervals 1 week after operation. Melatonin (Mel) and N-acetylserotonin (NAS) were extracted and quantified by RIA. The concentrations of serum Mel and NAS were significantly reduced after Px, suggesting that the pineal contributes a significant amount of these to the blood. However, circadian rhythms of them were not abolished by Px, indicating the existence of extrapineal sources at least one of which is capable of secreting Mel and NAS wih a diurnal rhythm. Retina is suspected to be an important source.
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