Light-induced suppression of nocturnal serotonin N-acetyltransferase activity in chick pineal gland and retina: A wavelength comparison


Address reprint requests to Dr. Jolanta B. Zawilska, Department of Biogenic Amines, Polish Academy of Sciences, P.0.Box-225, Łóáź-1, 90-950 Poland


Abstract: Effects of white and monochromatic (blue—434 nm, green—548 nm, and red—614 nm) lights on the nighttime retinal and pineal NAT activity were examined in chicks. The potency of the tested lights to suppress NAT activity was similar for the retina and pineal gland, with a following rank order: white > green > blue > red. The studied tissues of chick were far less sensitive to pulses of monochromatic light than the rat pineal gland. The potency of light to decrease pineal NAT activity of rat was: white > green >> blue > red. In chicks, the suppression of the nocturnal NAT activity produced by a short 5-min pulse of monochromatic light was completely reversible in the pineal gland, and partially reversible in the retina. Our data suggest the existence of some differences between birds and mammals in terms of sensitivity and mechanisms involved in the light-induced suppression of melatonin biosynthesis.