Underfeeding and Exposure to Short Photoperiod Alters Rat Pineal and Harderian Gland Lysosomal Enzyme Activities

M. K. Vaughan, M. Nordio, P. J. Chenoweth, J. P. Chambers, R. J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Harderian gland (HG) weight and lysosomal enzyme activity were evaluated after 21-day-old female rats were singly caged in a long (LP; 14:10 LD) or short (SP; 8:16 LD) photoperiod and fed on one of two dietary regimens (fed ad libitum or 50% underfed) for 50 days; an additional fed and an underfed group of animals in LP were injected every afternoon with 100 μg melatonin. Absolute HG weights were significantly lower in all underfed groups compared to their respective fed controls or to the LP fed control group. Absolute HG weights of underfed rats in SP were significantly lower than the underfed rats in LP. Relative HG weights (mg/100 g body wt) were significantly higher in the underfed saline or melatonin-treated groups compared to their respective fed controls; however, HG of the underfed SP group were not different from SP-fed controls. No significant differences in HG acid phosphatase, hexosaminidase, and β-glucuronidase activities were observed in any of the treatment groups maintained in LP. Acid phosphatase, hexosaminidase, and β-glucuronidase activities were significantly elevated in HG of underfed animals maintained in SP compared to their respective fed controls or to the LP-underfed group. Both the underfed control and the underfed-melatonin treated groups had lower pineal protein values than their respective fed groups; underfed animals in 8:16 LD had similar pineal protein values compared to those of the fed control group in SP. Significant effects of photoperiod and underfeeding with no interaction between these variables were observed on pineal acid phosphatase. The fed group maintained in 8:16 LD had significantly higher acid phosphatase activity than the fed group kept in 14:10 LD. In conclusion, underfeeding resulted in severely reduced body weights and absolute Harderian gland weights. Increased activity in certain lysosomal enzymes occurred in both the pineal and Harderian gland and in some instances this was dependent upon the light cycle and dietary regimen to which the animals were exposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Volume189
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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