Central and peripheral neural pathways necessary for pineal function in the adult female rat

R. J. Reiter, S. Sorrentino, E. L. Jarrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Reproductive involution produced by surgical removal of the olfactory bulbs and of the eyes from adult female rats was prevented by pincalectomy, superior cervical ganglion- ectomy or by bilateral transection of the medial forebrain bundle within the lateral hypothalamus. The activity of the melatonin-forming enzyme, hvdroxyindolc-O-methyltrans- ferase, was diminished after sympathetic denervation of the pineal gland; this decreased activity of the pineal probably explains its failure to induce gonadal regression in blinded, anosmic rats. Interruption of the medial forebrain bundle may have prevented involution of the ovaries and associated sexual structures by at least two different means. The transections may have interrupted the inferior accessory optic tract, which transmits information about photic stimuli to the pineal gland or, alternately, they may have negated the pineal's effect by interrupting afferents to the hypothalamus from cell bodies within the mesencephalon, which arc responsive to pineal secretory products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-333
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1971


  • Anosmia
  • Blinding
  • Medial forcbrain bundle
  • Pineal gland
  • Reproduction
  • Superior cervical ganglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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