Retinal protein synthesis in relationship to environmental lighting

  • Hollyfield J
  • Anderson R
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A series of in vivo and in vitro experiments using Xenopus laevis juvenile toads was conducted to probe the relationship between environmental lighting and protein synthesis in the retina. Autoradiographic and biochemical analyses indicated that measurable changes in protein synthesis did not occur during a normal diurnal cycle when animals were conditioned to 12 hr light followed by 12 hr darkness each day (LD). However, when retinas from animals maintained in continuous darkness (DD) for 3 days were incubated with 3H-leucine, there was a 40% reduction in the specific radioactivity of total retinal proteins compared with retinas from animals maintained in continuous light (LL) for 3 days or on the LD cycle. Retinas from DD animals injected with 3H-leucine showed a 48% reduction in protein synthesis compared with retinas of LL animals. In autoradiographs of retinas from in vivo or in vitro experiments, grain counts were 40% lower in the total retinas of the DD animals compared with retinas of LL animals. This reduction occurred throughout the entire retina and was not restricted to any specific cell type. There was also a 35% reduction in the rate of radioactive band displacement in the rod outer segments of DD animals, although the percent of 3H-leucine incorporated into opsin relative to total retinal protein was the same for both groups. We conclude from these studies that fluctuations in the rate of protein synthesis during the normal light-dark cycle are not detectable. However, major differences in protein synthesis are evident when animals are stressed with continuous darkness for several days. This effect is not restricted to any particular retinal layer but occurs throughout the entire retina. Moreover, prolonged darkness affects protein synthesis in extraocular tissues as well.U

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  • ISSN: 01460404
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-0020378222
  • SGR: 0020378222
  • PUI: 13236100
  • PMID: 6890049
  • ISBN: 0146-0404


  • J. G. Hollyfield

  • R. E. Anderson

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