Light stimulates tyrosine hydroxylase activity and dopamine synthesis in retinal amacrine neurons

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Science  24 Nov 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4370, pp. 901-902
DOI: 10.1126/science.30997


Retinal dopamine-containing amacrine neurons are rapidly activated by light, as shown by an increase in the rate of dopamine formation in vivo and a concomitant increase in the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase, measured in vitro with a subsaturating concentration of pteridine cofactor. Activation of tyrosine hydroxylase also occurs when isolated eyes from rats killed in the dark are exposed to a strobe light. Studies of amacrine neurons should provide basic data about the biochemical processing of visual information, as well as the physiological presynaptic regulatory mechanisms of dopamine-containing neurons.