Rapid Light-Induced Decrease in Pineal Serotonin N-Acetyltransferase Activity

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Science  11 Aug 1972:
Vol. 177, Issue 4048, pp. 532-533
DOI: 10.1126/science.177.4048.532


Light acting by way of the eye causes the dark-induced activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase in the pineal gland of the rat to decrease with a halving time of about 3 minutes. This effect, which is one of the more rapid physiological changes known to occur in the activity of any enzyme that metabolizes biogenic amines, appears to explain the rapid increase in the concentration of pineal serotonin that is caused by light exposure at night.

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