Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: Relation between retinal melatonin and corneal mitotic rhythms in the Japanese quail was investigated in experiments manipulating the ocular physiology by treatments with formoguanamine hydrochloride (FG) and eye-lid suture. In experiment 1, we investigated the effects of FG, which is known to induce photoreceptor degeneration, on retinal melatonin and corneal mitotic rhythms. FG-treatment completely abolished the retinal melatonin rhythms in both LD 12: 12 and constant darkness (DD), but the corneal mitotic rhythm was maintained with high mitotic rate in darkness under a LD cycle and subjective night under DD. The result suggests that 1) the photoreceptor cells in the retina are the site for melatonin production and/or for the oscillator which drives the circadian rhythm in retinal melatonin, and 2) melatonin is not involved in generation of the corneal mitotic rhythm. In experiment 2, we investigated the effects of eye-lid suture, which is known to induce eye enlargement and bulgy cornea, on the retinal melatonin and corneal mitotic rhythms. Eye-lid suture abolished the corneal mitotic rhythm in both LD and DD, with a high mitotic rate being maintained throughout 24 hr. But retinal melatonin maintained its rhythm with high levels in darkness under a LD cycle and in subjective night under DD. The result suggests that 1) bulgy cornea in the sutured eye was induced by the increase in mitotic rate in the light period, and 2) disappearance of the corneal mitotic rhythm does not have a relation to retinal melatonin. These results suggest that retinal melatonin is not involved in generation of the corneal mitotic rhythm and that there are two circadian clock systems in the eye.
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