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Effects of the eye enucleation on the activity of monoamine oxidase and acetylcholinesterase in the superior colliculus of the rat

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Changes in the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) following unilateral eye enucleation were measured for the superior colliculus (SC), lateral geniculate body (LGB), and nucleus suprachiasmaticus (NSC) in the rat by means of microspectrophotometry. The most conspicuous change of high significance was the decrease of MAO activity in the superficial strata of the SC contralateral to the enucleated eye. The other layers of SC, such as the stratum opticum, the intermediate strata, the deep strata and the central gray did not show significant postoperative changes in MAO activity. MAO activity of the LGB and the NSC was also not affected to a significant degree. The site of decrease of MAO activity in the superficial strata of the SC should be degenerating optic nerve terminals. The strong AChE activity in the superficial strata may be derived from the horizontal cells. AChE activity in the SC showed only slight postoperative changes. The possible roles of the monoaminergic and cholinergic systems in the process of visual information are discussed.

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Correspondence to Dr. Akihisa Urano.

Additional information

I wish to thank Miss Naoko Sekijima for her histological work, and Miss Emiko Iseki and Miss Makiko Ogoshi for their assistance in preparing the manuscript

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Urano, A. Effects of the eye enucleation on the activity of monoamine oxidase and acetylcholinesterase in the superior colliculus of the rat. Cell Tissue Res. 179, 331–345 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00221104

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Key words

  • Superior colliculus, rat
  • Eye enucleation
  • Microspectrophotometry
  • Monoamine oxidase
  • Acetylcholinesterase