Introductory Remarks on Regulation of Pineal Indoleamine Synthesis
The isolation and identification of the active principle in the bovine pineals causing blanching of the tadpole skin, initiated the modern era of pineal research. This compound was identified by Lerner and coworkers (1958) as methoxy-N-acetylserotonin and named melatonin. The characterization of melatonin, the presence of relatively large concentrations of the biogenic amine serotonin (Giarman and Day, 1959) and the noradrenergic innervation in the rat pineal (Kappers, 1960) stimulated pineal research in this organ in a variety of disciplines. This led to the elucidation of the biosynthesis and action of melatonin and its regulation, gave important insights regarding the generation of circadian rhtyhms, and the interaction between nerves and hormone producing cells.
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