Methoxyindoles and photoreceptor metabolism: activation of rod shedding

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Science  18 Mar 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4590, pp. 1341-1343
DOI: 10.1126/science.6828862


Using an in vitro eye-cup preparation, we have evaluated a potential relationship between methoxyindole metabolism and photoreceptor disk shedding. Melatonin, 6-chloromelatonin, and 5-methoxytryptophol all activate rod disk shedding in culture. The effect is compound specific since serotonin and N-acetylserotonin are without effect, and it is similar to shedding in vivo because it is evoked by light and is quantitatively comparable to a normal intact animal response. The results suggest the involvement of 5-methoxyindoles in the control of rhythmic photoreceptor metabolism.