Light and agonists alter pineal N-acetyltransferase induction by vasoactive intestinal polypeptide

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Science  03 Jun 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4601, pp. 1082-1083
DOI: 10.1126/science.6844931


Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide stimulated serotonin N-acetyltransferase activity in rat pineal glands in organ culture by a postsynaptic action that was independent of the beta-receptor. The magnitude of stimulation could be altered by environmental lighting conditions and by prior exposure to the agonist. Such up- and down-regulation, well known for catecholaminergic stimulation of this system, is compatible with a possible control of the pineal by vasoactive intestinal polypeptide as well as by catecholamines.