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Brain Res. 1988 Nov 8;473(1):37-42.

Pineal indoleamine metabolism in pyridoxine-deficient rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


Pyridoxine deficiency causes physiologically significant decrease in brain serotonin (5-HT) due to decreased decarboxylation of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). We have examined the effect of pyridoxine deficiency on indoleamine metabolism in the pineal gland, a tissue with high indoleamine turnover. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a pyridoxine-supplemented or pyridoxine-deficient diet for 8 weeks. Pyridoxine deficiency did not alter the pattern of circadian rhythm of pineal 5-HT, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), N-acetylserotonin (NAS), and melatonin. However the levels of these compounds were significantly lower in the pineal glands of pyridoxine-deficient animals. Pineal 5-HTP levels were consistently higher in the pyridoxine-deficient animals and a conspicuous increase was noticed at 22.00 h. Increase in pineal NAS and melatonin levels caused by isoproterenol (5 mg/kg at 17.00 h) were significantly lower (P less than 0.05) in the pyridoxine-deficient animals. Treatment of pyridoxine-deficient rats with pyridoxine restored the levels of pineal 5-HT, 5-HIAA, NAS, and melatonin to values seen in pyridoxine-supplemented control animals. These results suggest that 5-HT availability could be an important factor in the regulation of the synthesis of pineal NAS and melatonin.

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