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A remarkably constant feature of vertebrate physiology is a daily rhythm of melatonin in the circulation, which serves as the hormonal signal of the daily light/dark cycle: melatonin levels are always elevated at night. The biochemical basis of this hormonal rhythm is one of the enzymes involved in melatonin synthesis in the pineal gland-the melatonin(More)
In this report the photosensitive teleost pineal organ was studied in three teleosts, in which melatonin production is known to exhibit a daily rhythm with higher levels at night; in pike and zebrafish this increase is driven by a pineal clock, whereas in trout it occurs exclusively in response to darkness. Here we investigated the regulation of messenger(More)
The fish pineal organ contains typical and, in some species, modified photoreceptor cells involved in the photoperiodic control of melatonin production. In the majority of species studied, the rhythm in melatonin production is driven by an intra-pineal circadian oscillator synchronized by the light:dark cycle. In the present study, it is shown that the(More)
Trout pineal cells maintained in primary culture produce melatonin in high amounts during night time and low amounts during daytime. The dark-induced increase in melatonin production was enhanced, in a dose-dependent manner, by elevating extracellular calcium concentration. Low external calcium concentration reduced nocturnal and diurnal melatonin(More)
Serotonin N-acetyltransferase (arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, AANAT, EC is the first enzyme in the conversion of serotonin to melatonin. Large changes in AANAT activity play an important role in the daily rhythms in melatonin production. Although a single AANAT gene has been found in mammals and the chicken, we have now identified two AANAT(More)
Trout pineal cells were dissociated using a trypsin-DNase digestion technique. An enriched population of photoreceptor cells was selected from a Percoll gradient centrifugation. The ability of cultured photoreceptor cells (selected or not on a Percoll gradient) to produce melatonin rhythmically was investigated during seven 24 h light/dark cycles. During(More)
Melatonin is an internal "Zeitgeber," involved in the timing and control of a number of rhythmic functions and behaviours. Its synthesising cells remain to be identified in the fish pineal. The last step in the melatonin biosynthetic pathway is catalysed by the enzyme hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase. An affinity-purified antibody, directed against chicken(More)
The photosensitive teleost pineal organ exhibits a daily rhythm in melatonin production. In most teleosts, including the pike, this is driven by an endogenous pineal clock. An exception is the trout, in which the pineal melatonin rhythm is a direct response to darkness. This fundamental difference in the regulation of melatonin production in two closely(More)
Pineal photoreceptor cells produce the neurohormone melatonin, a major "Zeitgeber" of the organism. This compound is involved in the control of development, growth, sexual maturation, and seasonal reproductive cycles. The present study reports that the photosensitive pineal organ and the retina of the trout express a 3.5-kb mRNA corresponding to the(More)
The pineal organ of fish contains photoreceptor cells. In some species (e.g., pike) each photoreceptor is a cellular circadian system which contains a photoreceptive unit, the clock and an output unit. In others (e.g., trout) the clock is lacking. The main rhythmic output of the pineal photoreceptor is melatonin, an internal 'zeitgeber' of the organisms.(More)