PMID: 7932037Apr 1, 1994

The pineal melatonin rhythm and its regulation by light in a subterranean rodent, the valley pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae)

Journal of Pineal Research
R J ReiterL Barlow-Walden


The daytime and nightime levels of pineal N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity, hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) activity, and melatonin were measured in adult male and female valley pocket gophers, Thomomys bottae. This species was chosen for study because it is a subterranean rodent that inhabits burrows whose openings to the surface are closed. Therefore, under field conditions it is estimated that the pocket gopher spends roughly 99% of its time in absolute darkness in underground burrows. When wild captured pocket gophers were maintained under a light:dark cycle (light intensity during the day of roughly 140 microW/cm2), nightime levels of pineal NAt activity and melatonin content were higher than values measured during the day; on the other hand, HIOMT activity in the pineal gland was similar in the day and at night. When pocket gophers were exposed to an extended light period (220 microW/cm2) 4 hr into the night, the rise in melatonin synthesis normally associated with darkness onset was not inhibited. Also, when gophers were acutely exposed to a light intensity of 400 microW/cm2 for 1 hr beginning 4 hr after darkness onset, neither high nocturnal levels of pineal NAT nor pineal melatonin contents were reduced. Fi...Continue Reading


Jan 1, 1979·Endocrinology·E S PankeR J Reiter
May 1, 1992·Journal of Pineal Research·B A BuchananH A Tucker
Mar 1, 1992·Journal of Pineal Research·M A SheikheldinW M Palmer
Aug 1, 1991·Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology·R J Reiter
Jan 1, 1989·Journal of Pineal Research·M GotoS Ebihara
Jan 1, 1987·Journal of Pineal Research·I M McIntyreS M Armstrong
Mar 1, 1973·The American Journal of Anatomy·M N Sheridan, R J Reiter
Oct 1, 1971·Endocrinology·D C KleinJ L Weller
Jun 1, 1983·The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism·A J Lewy, D A Newsome
Mar 1, 1982·Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine·L Y JohnsonR J Reiter
Nov 1, 1980·Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine·M D RollagR J Reiter
Aug 1, 1993·Journal of Pineal Research·M L LaaksoS Smith

Related Concepts

NAT2 protein, human
NAT Activity
Family Dipodidae
ASMT gene
Thomomys bottae
Acetylserotonin N-Methyltransferase
Melatonin Biosynthetic Process
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