Journal of neural transmission

Rhythmic synthesis of various 5-methoxyindoles in the pineal gland of male adult golden hamsters, kept under the same artificial conditions throughout the year.

PMID 3872928


Until now the day/night and seasonal rhythmicity in the synthesis of 5-methoxyindoles (MI) is thought to be regulated by environmental factors, especially photoperiod and temperature. Endogenous factors are also implicated in the generation of N-acetyltransferase and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activity rhythms. In the present experiments seasonal rhythmicity in the synthesis of MI in the pineal gland was investigated in hamsters kept under the same artificial conditions throughout the year. Though the environmental conditions were the same, day/night and seasonal rhythmicity in the production of MI in the pineal were observed indicating the existence of endogenous factors influencing the rhythmicities. In November, most of the MI showed the highest synthesis, MA and ML excepted, which were especially produced in July and September. The results obtained sustain the hypothesis that aMT is synthesized from MT rather than from aHT. Moreover, the rhythmicities in aMT synthesis are not identical to those found in aMT concentration as described in the literature. This indicates that synthesis and concentration of a compound are not comparable. At the end of the light period, when aMT injections have an antigonadotropic effect, a peak of aMT synthesis was always present. Although MI synthesis showed seasonal rhythmicity, no reproductive cycle occurred in the hamsters. At present, the concept that the pro- and/or antigonadal effects of the pineal are mediated by aMT seems to be the most acceptable. The present results, however, indicate that aMT and perhaps other MI, often regarded as factors influencing gonadal growth in golden hamsters, are not the only factors involved.

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