Rhythm development in pineal and circulating serotonin, N-acetylserotonin, and melatonin in Syrian hamsters.
- PubMed: 2724055
The ontogeny of diurnal rhythm patterns in the pineal and serum levels of melatonin, serotonin, and N-acetylserotonin was studied in Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) from birth to adulthood. The pineal and blood specimens were collected at 1100 h and 0200 h, and the compounds were measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) procedures. Pineal melatonin and serotonin did not show any circadian rhythm at day 5 of postnatal age. At this age N-acetylserotonin was undetectable in the light phase but became manifest at night. By 10 days of age pineal serotonin registered an established rhythm pattern, with a higher level during the day. The occurrence of circadian rhythm in pineal melatonin was delayed and manifested first at 25 days of age. At this age, the first detectable daytime level of N-acetylserotonin also occurred. Circadian rhythm in serum melatonin was also established at this age. The serum serotonin did not evince any rhythm pattern throughout the observation period, except at day 17 of postnatal age. The massive concentration of daytime serotonin in the pineal was not reflected in the circulatory system. For serum N-acetylserotonin there was no discernable day-night rhythm in all age groups, except at 25 days of age. The results show that the timing of the appearance of various compounds in the neonatal pineal is variable; the release of the substances does not always reflect their synthesis; the ontogenesis of circadian rhythm is a part of the maturational process; and 25 days of age is a rather critical time in development.