Rhythms in Pineal Immunoreactive Somatostatin in the Syrian Hamster, Mouse, and Gerbil

Susan M. Webb, Miguel‐Angel ‐A Peinado, Manuel Puig‐Domingo, Mercedes Viader, Russel J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Immunoreactive somatostatin (IRS) has been previously demonstrated in the pineal gland of different rodent species, and we observed a 24‐hr rhythm in rats. Recent data suggest that the peptide may represent a neurotransmitter in the so‐called peptidergic nerves of the central, pinealopetal innervation of the epiphysis, which may modulate the activity and secretion of the gland. We investigated whether 24‐hr changes of pineal IRS content occurred in Syrian hamsters, gerbils, and mice. Adult males, kept in a 14:10 LD photoperiod, were decapitated at 4‐hr intervals throughout a 24‐hr period. Pineals and median eminences were analyzed for IRS by radioimmunoassay. No significant changes in the median eminence content of IRS with time was observed. As previously described in rats, a statistically significant rhythm of IRS was observed in the pineal of hamsters and mice, with a peak at 2000 hr (mice 51.7 ± 5 pg/pineal; hamsters 26.3 ± 4.6) and a nadir at 2400 hr (mice 30.8 ± 1.4) or 0400 hr (hamsters 8.6 ± 1). However, in the gerbil pineal IRS content remained unchanged throughout the period of study. Since the three species examined have very different melatonin cycles, it is suggested that the melatonin and IRS rhythms are unrelated and independently regulated events within the pineal gland.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pineal research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1988


  • cotransmission
  • pineal innervation
  • pineal peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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