Action spectrum of the retinal mechanism mediating nocturnal light-induced suppression of rat pineal gland N-acetyltransferase

Brain Res. 1987 Mar 17;406(1-2):352-6. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(87)90806-7.


The spectral properties of the retinal mechanism mediating the inhibitory effects of nocturnal light on pineal gland N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity were determined. Pineal gland NAT activity declined linearly in albino rats exposed to different irradiances of a 460 or 580 nm monochromatic light during the middle of the dark phase of the cycle. The difference in sensitivity to the test lights is that predicted for a photopigment having peak absorbance at 495 nm, suggesting the inhibition of pineal gland N-acetyltransferase activity is mediated by the photopigment found in rat rods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects*
  • Pineal Gland / enzymology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Retinal Pigments / radiation effects*


  • Retinal Pigments
  • Acetyltransferases
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase