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Brain Res. 1995 Sep 11;691(1-2):133-41.

The effects of lesions of the thalamic intergeniculate leaflet on the pineal metabolism.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


The aim of the present work was to study, in rats, the effects of lesions of the thalamic intergeniculate leaflet (IGL) and the deep pineal/lamina intercalaris region (DP) on the diurnal profile of N-acetylserotonin (NAS) and on the nocturnal pineal reactivity to acute retinal light stimulation (1 or 15 min). The 24-h experiment shows that there is no phase-shifting on the diurnal NAS curve of groups of rats with bilateral IGL lesion compared to the controls. On the other hand there is a significant reduction on the amplitude of pineal NAS content observed in every nocturnal point of the curve. The pineal glands of IGL-lesioned rats, after 1 min of retinal light stimulation, keep their NAS content equal to the lesioned dark-killed rats. Nonetheless, after 15 min of photostimulation, the pineal NAS content is reduced to nearly zero equally to the control animals. DP lesion does not modify the content of NAS in the pineal gland of rats killed in the dark. However, the pineal photo-inhibition process induced by 1 min of light exposure is impaired. These results suggest that: (1) the intergeniculate leaflet has a role in regulating the amplitude of the diurnal rhythm of pineal NAS production rather than its phase entrainment to light-dark cycle. This effect is not dependent on the direct geniculo-pineal connections. (2) The nocturnal pineal photo-inhibition phenomenon could be decomposed in two processes. One, triggered by short pulses of light and totally dependent on the IGL and partially dependent on the direct monosynaptic pathway between this structure and the pineal gland.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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