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  • 1
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The effects of some general purpose drugs on the deactivation and activity measurement of the chicken pineal gland enzyme serotonin N-acetyl transferase (EC 2. 3. 1. 5.) were studied. The drugs used were EGTA and two neutral surfactants, Nonidet P40 and Triton X-100. Enzyme activity showed significant variations ranging from 2.8 ± 1.3 nmol/gland/h when Nonidet P40 was added to the homogenate buffer, to 31.8 ± 1.7 nmol/gland/h when EGTA was present. This striking variation seemed to be caused by the ability of these compounds to modify the rate of NAT deactivation acting either as accelerating agents, as in the case of the detergents or as braking agent, as in the case of EGTA.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: A study was carried out to determine possible effects of 60-Hz electromagnetic-field exposure on pineal gland function in humans. Overnight excretion of urinary 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-OHMS), a stable urinary metabolite of the pineal hormone melatonin, was used to assess pineal gland function in 42 volunteers who used standard (conventional) or modified continuous polymer wire (CPW) electric blankets for approximately 8 weeks. Volunteers using conventional electric blankets showed no variations in 6-OHMS excretion as either a group or individuals during the study period. Serving as their own controls, 7 of 28 volunteers using the CPW blankets showed statistically significant changes in their mean nighttime 6-OHMS excretion. The CPW blankets switched on and off approximately twice as often when in service and produced magnetic fields that were 50% stronger than those from the conventional electric blankets. On the basis of these findings, we hypothesize that periodic exposure to pulsed DC or extremely low frequency electric or magnetic fields of sufficient intensity and duration can affect pineal gland function in certain individuals.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The diurnal rhythm of plasma melatonin was studied in 46 Chinese patients with acute cerebral hemorrhage. The state of consciousness of each patient was assessed clinically. The individual sites of lesion were determined by computerized tomography scanning. One to five days after stroke, blood samples were collected by venipuncture at 1000 and 1400 h in the daytime and 0200 and 0400 h at night. Plasma melatonin was extracted by dichloromethane and determined by radioimmunoassay. It was found that patients with lesions in the brain stem or in the third and lateral ventricles had melatonin levels significantly different from the other subjects in that these values were lower and lacking a nocturnal rise. These results are consistent with the presumptive retina-pineal pathway proposed in humans. Dramatic blunting or obliteration of the nocturnal melatonin surge in the blood was also observed in some patients with lesions in the frontal lobe, fronto-parietal lobe, parieto-temporal lobe, and basal ganglia. These brain regions are not involved in the retina-pineal pathway described in rodents or humans. Thus, our results suggest that brain regions other than the presumptive retina-pineal neural pathway may play an important role in the generation and/or regulation of the diurnal production and/or secretion of pineal melatonin in humans. However, a global functional disturbance caused by cerebral hemorrhage cannot be ruled out in some cases. It should be noted that many of the lesions leading to a change in the nocturnal rise of plasma melatonin were unilateral lesions. The significance of this finding is presently unknown. In addition, patients without a nocturnal rise of plasma melatonin were mostly comatose. They had lesions in the basal ganglion, fronto-parietal lobe, brain stem, and lateral and third ventricles. The latter findings suggest that in the brain, certain regions responsible for the state of consciousness of the individual may also be important to the dirunal rhythm of pineal melatonin secretion.
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  • 4
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    Journal of pineal research 9 (1990), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: A variety of reports indicate that some kind of interaction may exist between the pineal gland and cations. Of particular interest are the reports that indicate comparatively high levels of copper, manganese, and zinc in the pineal gland and that the pineal gland exhibits a circadian rhythm in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. There are, unfortunately, no reports suggesting a functional role for these findings. This study investigated circadian rhythms in circulating plasma cations in rats under 12/12 h light-dark cycle and in rats whose pineal function had been suppressed by exposure to constant light for 1 and 7 days. Neither of the treatments affected circulating potassium levels but had some significant effects on sodium concentration at a number of time points without affecting the total amount of sodium circulating in a 24 h period. Calcium, magnesium, and zinc plasma concentrations were little affected by 1 day of constant light, while 7 days of constant light caused a dramatic and highly significant increase in the circulating levels of the three cations. The plasma levels of copper, on the other hand, while also being unaffected by 1 day were significantly depressed by 7 days of constant light. It is apparent, therefore, that the pineal gland may be involved in regulation of circulating levels of the cations measured. The functional significance of these observations is not clear at this stage but warrants further investigation.
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  • 5
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    Journal of pineal research 9 (1990), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Twenty-four hour patterns of urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin excretion were monitored in eight healthy adult subjects in two bed rest constant routines, one with normal nocturnal sleep and one with continuous wakefulness. The implementation of dim light “constant routines” enabled the effect of the sleep wake/state on melatonin to be tested without the confounding effects of body activity and normal room lighting. In both conditions 6-sulphatoxymelatonin excretion was significantly higher during the nighttime hours (2200-1000) than during the daytime hours (1000-2200) producing averages of 80% and 78.5% of the total 24 hour output in the sleep and wakeful conditions, respectively. The large differences between subjects in nocturnal melatonin excretion (38 to 150 nmol) were highly consistent between the two conditions. There were no differences between the nocturnal wakeful and sleep conditions in total nighttime melatonin excretion nor in the nighttime percentage of the 24 hour total melatonin excretions. Therefore, the sleep/wake state alone had no effect on nocturnal melatonin excretion. On the other hand, a significant correlation between the nighttime melatonin percentage and sleep length suggested the need to investigate further the relation between the amplitude of the melatonin circadian rhythm and sleep length and quality.
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  • 6
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    Journal of pineal research 9 (1990), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: In the newborn southern elephant seal the pineal gland is very large, and both pineal and plasma melatonin concentration is elevated. The pineal gland was investigated during the first 24 h, and up to 20 days of age, in elephant seal pups. A primary aim of this investigation was to determine whether there are obvious ultrastructural characteristics of pinealocytes that are exhibiting extraordinarily high levels of activity. Blood and pineal glands were collected from thirty seven pups of known age which were sampled at random from early September to early November (1985) at Macquarie Island. The pineal gland is large (mean weight, 4.71 ± 0.35 gm, range 1–9.3 gm) and actively secreting melatonin at birth. Melatonin concentrations were extremely variable, yet very high in pups during the first 24 h post-partum. Mean melatonin plasma concentration for pups 0–24 h was 17632.8 ± 5723.8 pmol/l (4090.8 ± 1327.9 pg/ml), ranging from 126 pmol/l (29 pg/ml) to 297000 pmol/l (68904 pg/ml). Electron microscopic examination did not reveal any marked changes in pinealocyte ultrastructure suggestive of increased secretory activity during this period. The large and extremely active pineal gland in newborn southern elephant seal suggests that it is actively involved in thermoregulation.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The nocturnal peak in pineal and serum melatonin content was reduced following administration of the selective alpha-1 adrenoceptor antagonist prazosin in a dose of 0.25 mg/kg. The effect was pronounced one hour post treatment during the late dark phase of the daily photocycle. These data confirm the reported findings that the hamster pineal sensitivity to adrenergic challenge is confined to the second part of the dark phase and indicate that postsynaptically located alpha-1 adrenoceptors are also involved in the physiological control of melatonin synthesis and/or release in that species.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Free amino acids and indoles were measured by HPLC in single pineal glands of 5-, 10-and 20-day-old rats sacrificed during mid-light and mid-dark at each age. Melatonin was detectable in neonates (5-day-old), but day vs night differences in indole constituents did not occur until 10 days of age. Free amino acid steady state levels were high in neonates and there was a tendency for reversal of day vs night differences coinciding with the onset of circadian rhythmicity in indole biosynthesis. High correlations (r 〉 0.85) existed for taurine vs. glutamate in individual glands regardless of age and time of sacrifice. These findings suggest that taurine and glutamate are biochemically interrelated and that developmental changes in amino acid metabolic pools reflect functional innervation of the gland.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: We have studied the pattern of variations in extent of thymidine incorporation during pulse-labelling in cultured chick pineal glands. During the first 24-30 h in culture the extent of pulse-labelling varied in parallel with the cycle in cumulative incorporation. Pulse-labelling was seen during the period of apparent arrest of cumulative incorporation. However, it was probably “masked” by the SD of assays of cumulative incorporation and represented a minor, but distinct, process of thymidine incorporation. The pattern of variation in extent of pulse-labelling was qualitatively consistent under a wide variety of conditions. Control of this pattern appeared to be different from that of the circadian rhythm in cumulative thymidine incorporation.
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1600-079X
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The pineal organ of the frog, Rana esculenta and R. temporaria was studied by opsin immunocytochemistry using two polyclonal antibovine rhodopsin and the monoclonal antichicken opsin antibodies OS-2 (detecting blue and green pigments) and COS-1 (detecting green and red pigments). Four types of photoreceptor cells were distinguished. The large outer segments of the numcrous electron-dense photoreceptor cells (“large pineal rods”) were immunoreactive with the rhodopsin and OS-2 antibodies, but reacted weakly with antibody COS-1. Some electron-dense photoreceptors with smaller outer segments (“small pineal rods”) were found that were strongly OS-2-immunoreactive but moderately rhodopsin-positive. The long outer segments of the oil droplet containing photoreceptors (“large pineal cones”) were only immunoreactive with the COS-1 antibodies. The small electron-lucent photoreceptors (“small pineal cones”) were immunonegative with all the opsin antisera used.These results confirm the presence of the opsin of a (green-sensitive) rhodopsin in the “large rod” photoreceptors. A blue-sensitive pigment is supposed to be present in the “small rod” photoreceptors, and a red-sensitive one in the oil droplet-containing “large cones”. The opsin-immunonegative “small cone” is discussed to contain a (UV-blue?) photopigment that differs essentially in its antigenic sites from the other pigments. The presence of four types of photoreceptors equipped with the opsins of apparently different photopigments strengthens the view that the frog pineal organ is capable of measuring different ranges of the light spectrum.
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