N-acetyltransferase activity and indole contents of the male syrian hamster harderian gland: Changes during the light:dark cycle

Armando Menendez-Pelaez, Russel J. Reiter, Aldo Gonzalez-Brito, Kimberly A. Howes

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The activities of N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) and the indole contents of the Harderian glands of male Syrian hamsters were studied throughout a 24-h period. NAT activity exhibited a sharp rise 1 h after lights on, decreasing to basal levels 1 h later. Neither a HIOMT activity nor a melatonin concentration rhythm was detected throughout the 24 h. The 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) concentration was highest during the dark phase reaching a peak at 0300 h; with light onset serotonin levels exhibited a rapid short-term drop. The 5-hydroxytryptophol concentration was highest during the mid- to late photophase; the lowest values to this constituent were measured late in the dark phase and at 1 h after lights on. The 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid concentration of the Harderian glands was rather stable throughout the 24-h period but levels did show a short-lived drop 1 h after light onset. Only a few animals contained detectable amounts of N-acetyl-5-hydroxytryptamine (N-acetylserotonin) in their Harderian glands. In agreement with previous work on the Harderian glands of female Syrian hamsters, the present results in males suggest that light onset is associated with marked changes in Harderian indoleamine metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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