Effect of Monochromatic Light on Melatonin Secretion and Arylalkylamine N-Acetyltransferase mRNA Expression in the Retina and Pineal Gland of Broilers



The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of various monochromatic lights on plasma melatonin (MT) levels and the expression of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) mRNA in the pineal gland and retina. A total of 160 newly hatched (posthatching day 1, P1) broilers, including intact, sham-operated, and pinealectomized groups were exposed to blue light (BL), green light (GL), red light (RL), and white light (WL) by light emitting diode (LED) system for short term (24 hr) or long term (2 weeks), separately. For intact and sham-operated birds, the plasma MT level exhibited marked circadian rhythms at P7 and P14 regardless of short-term and long-term exposure to four monochromatic lights. However, WL and BL showed a faint suppression of MT secretion in contrast to GL and RL at either light or dark time points, with the following rank order: GL < RL < WL < BL. Larger circadian amplitude of MT levels was observed in GL group versus BL group (at P14: 87.70 pg/mL vs. 19.85 pg/mL, respectively). Pinealectomy disturbed the MT rhythm under different light colors, especially in RL. Additionally, consistent with the alteration of plasma MT levels, we observed increased AANAT mRNA expression and immunoreactive cell numbers of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and c-Fos in the pineal gland or retina in GL than that of BL, whereas 5-HT immunoreactive cell number was significantly decreased in GL. These data suggested that GL enhanced chick pinealocytes and retinal cells to express AANAT mRNA and to secrete MT, which may be depended on promoting c-Fos expression and cell proliferation. Anat Rec, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.