Alterations in components of the pineal melatonin synthetic pathway by acute insulin stress in the rat and Syrian hamster

Thomas Champney, Richard W. Steger, Douglas S. Christie, Russel J. Reiter

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Acute insulin stress increased plasma catecholamine levels in both the Syrian hamster and albino rat within 3 h after an intraperitoneal injection of either 5 or 10 units of insulin. In the rat, this stress caused a concurrent increase in pineal serotonin N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity and melatonin content with no observable change in hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) activity. In the hamster, on the other hand, acute insulin stress did not alter pineal NAT activity, but depressed both HIOMT activity and melatonin content up to 3 h after the stress. These results present further evidence that catecholamines do not control hamster pineal melatonin synthesis by the same mechanism as observed in the rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 8 1985
Externally publishedYes



  • albino rat
  • catecholamines
  • melatonin
  • pineal
  • stress
  • Syrian hamster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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